Fans are seeking answers from Russian model Irina Shayk after accusations that she used the anti-Ukrainian symbol “Z” in a cryptic post on Instagram. The Instagram story of Shayk is the subject of much discussion online as she posted a photo of food with the caption “Russianzz,” and many are viewing it as support for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. This is just sad considering it was simply a photograph of food and people jumped right to conclusions, forcing her to address the situation herself.
While many online suggest that Shayk approves of Russian aggression, the model has previously expressed her opposition to the war. Days after the escalation of the conflict, she posted “No To War” on her Instagram on February 28, 2022, urging people to donate to Unicef and the Ukrainian Red Cross.
On July 15th, Shayk shared a photo of food which was apparently something like a potato salad dish. At the bottom, the caption read, “Russianzz on Wednaday.”
While it is unclear what the motivation behind the post and the choice of spelling were, many on social media assumed it was related to the use of the Z symbol by Russian forces in their war against Ukraine.
The letter can be spotted on Russian military vehicles such as tanks and helicopters. On March 3, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying that Z stood for “Za Pobedu,” which can be translated as “For Victory.” The symbol is used in Russia with people displaying Zs on their properties to demonstrate their support for their nation.
Maria Romanenko, a Ukrainian journalist, expressed her dismay and urged brands to cancel their partnerships with Shayk. She was referring specifically to Jean Paul Gaultier, Beyonce and Burberry.
Across social media, the calls for Shayk to be “canceled” are growing, but they will not work because Shayk already responded to the ‘Karens’ calling for her to be shunned.
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“It’s not acceptable,” wrote @m.a.r.y.ta on Instagram, “She used this little hint with “z” end. People who’s doesn’t see anything bad in her post you are blind. She just can’t talk about her war support because she can be canceled.”
While it was impossible to publicly comment on the Instagram story of Shayk, many took to her latest Instagram post to express their frustration with the model. “Shame on you,” many commented, while others were piling on with the hashtag: “Russia is a terrorist state.”
Not everyone has been so quick to accuse Shayk of supporting Vladimir Putin and the war effort in Russia. Instagram user @katerossiii got hundreds of likes for pointing out: “It’s just a salad.”
On Twitter, @chase_thenight also defended her. “Just because Irina Shayk wrote ‘russianz’ with z doesn’t mean she supports Russia and war. These comments under her ig posts are f****** stupid and unbelievable.”
Following this controversy, Irina took to her story to write: “Sometimes a salad is just a salad.”
“I promise: No coded messages or political commentary here. Wishing everyone love,” she added.
Shayk is primarily known as a Russian model and actress who co-starred with Dwayne Johnson in Hercules, dated Bradley Cooper, and in a skit on Inside Amy Schumer. She also dated football star Cristiano Ronaldo for nearly 6 years.