Ukrainians who fled the war to Ireland today campaigned for a ban on the public display of the “Z” symbol Russian war after seeing it used by pro-Russian supporters on vehicles in Dublin.
Ideos circulated on social media about a convoy of vehicles waving Russian flags and emblazoned with the letter “Z” on the doors.
The letter “Z” and sometimes the letter “V” is used by Russian Armed Forces Ukraine to identify their tanks and other combat vehicles, and the Ukrainians have said it has become the swastika of the Russian war.
Some countries like Latvia have already banned its exhibition.
More than 100 people gathered outside Leinster House today to call on the government to ban the ‘Z’ symbol.
“The Ukrainian community in Ireland called this meeting because there was a rally on Sunday of Russian supporters showing Russian army symbols and Russian army flags in support of Russian action and they mainly showed the letter ‘Z’ which has become a symbol War in Ukraine because the Russian army marks their vehicle with ‘Z’ and ‘V’,” said Nick Koslov of the Ukraine Crisis Center.
“These letters were displayed in this convoy on the M50 and then turned towards Swords.”
“Today we wish to send a strong message to the Irish Government and the Irish public that showing these symbols represents the war that has killed civilians and children, raped women and raped children in front of the women of Ukraine and is about it we outraged.
“The swastika became a symbol when the Nazis used it for their purposes. The Russians use ‘Z’ and I think it’s a swastika for us Ukrainians. Some of the European countries, Latvia I believe, have already banned the use of this letter in public.”
“I hope the Irish Government will listen to us because as we said today, today cars are showing ‘Z’ but tomorrow it could be tanks showing ‘Z’,” he added.
Ielizaveta Karamushka is from Ukraine but has been living in Dublin for several years. She told how her uncle was killed in the war in the last few weeks.
“Everyone here knows someone who has been killed. My uncle was killed by a tank with the “Z” symbol near Izyum, the area that is now occupied. He protected his country. If this isn’t genocide, then I don’t know what is,” she said.
“His whole family stayed in a basement in the devastated Hostomel near Bucha for more than ten days while being heavily bombed and waiting for a chance to escape.”
“They fled a few days before Russia fully occupied this area and killed all of their neighbors who stayed or didn’t fled. He protected his family and his country.”
“He was in his 50s but had four children. His wife, their mother, two children and two parents fled to Poland and they found out he was killed while they were in Poland.”
“My godfather’s best friend was shot in Bucha. There are many of these stories. Everyone knows someone. Russians also use the “Z” symbol on the internet. I no longer feel safe in Ireland seeing war symbols from Russia on these vehicles driving through Ireland.” She added.
Families who have fled the war in recent weeks and made Ireland their new home have praised the warm welcome they have been given.
And while they’re in hotels now, they don’t know what lodging they’ll have over time.
“We live in a hotel now, but our next move would be to go back home to Kharkiv,” said Sophia Tyshchenko, 14, who traveled here with her mother Tetiana and sister Maria, 11. Her father stayed in Ukraine because he is of military age, but he has not yet been called up to fight against the Russian armed forces.
“When the war started, we stayed underground for about ten days, then we went to Moldova, Romania, Hungary and arrived here a month ago.”
“We are now in a hotel that is perfect and we think we can stay there for three months. Dublin is an amazing city. I’m at Marino College and I’m making new friends,” she added.
Vaslyl Shepetivk was able to flee Kyiv, Ukraine, with his wife Lara because they have four children.
“A man can leave if he has three or more children, so I was able to stay with them. We have four small children, that was the main reason for our departure. It was very dangerous for us to stay there,” he said.
“We are very happy to stay in this country. The government is very kind to us. I’m looking for a job and maybe after that we’ll look for a house of our own. The children have adapted well. All the teachers in the school were very nice. All we hear is “You’re welcome.” It’s very good for us,” he added.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/russian-army-z-symbol-is-the-swastika-to-us-say-ukrainians-in-plea-for-it-to-be-banned-after-it-was-displayed-in-m50-convoy-41554277.html The Russian army’s “Z” symbol is the swastika for us, Ukrainians say in plea for it to be banned after being shown in the M50 convoy