Russian go-karter Artem Severiukhin gives Nazi salute
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Artem Severiukhin, 15, took to social media to post a video of himself apologising for giving the Nazi salute during an award ceremony. The Russian go-karter claims to not of known what the gesture meant, and was told to do it. Whilst wiping tears from his eyes Mr Severiukhin denounced Nazis and branded their historical atrocities as crimes against humanity.
The Russian racing champ said he’s a “fool” and he’s ready to be punished for the offence he has caused.
Mr Severiukhin said in the clip: “My name is Artem Severiukhin, and I want to apologise to everyone for what happened yesterday in the European Karting Championship.
“Standing on the podium, I made the gesture that many perceived as the Nazi salute.
“It’s not true, I have never supported Nazis, and I consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity.
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“But there are Italian license… Born under the Italian flag and the guys in front of the podium showed me it.
Mr Severiukhin added: “In Italy in such cases, it’s not customary to hit yourself on the chest in the heart area, showing gratitude.
“I just wanted to make the gesture, and how everything has happened I cannot explain.
“I know that in reality, I know that I am a fool, and I am ready to be punished, but please believe that there was no intention in my actions.
“There was no support of Nazis or fascism, there was no desire to offend spectators, fans, athletes, or the team. And all those who were watching the broadcast, excuse me.”
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Twitter users reacted to young Mr Severiukhin’s apology.
Much backlash came from Mr Severiukhin faux pas due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing claims that Ukraine is full of Nazis.
This was also one of the reasons Mr Putin gave for starting the war in Ukraine, during his invasion speech, due to the Azov battalion which has a well-documented history of Nazi roots but is now part of the national guard in Ukraine fighting alongside Ukrainian soldiers.
And Ukrainians have labelled Vladimir Putin ‘Hitler’ along with the Russian army being branded Nazis due to the war crimes they have been committing against the Ukrainian people.
Mr Putin said: “I would like to additionally emphasise the following. Focused on their own goals, the leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine, those who will never forgive the people of Crimea and Sevastopol for freely making a choice to reunite with Russia.”
“They will undoubtedly try to bring war to Crimea just as they have done in Donbas, to kill innocent people just as members of the punitive units of Ukrainian nationalists and Hitler’s accomplices did during the Great Patriotic War. They have also openly laid claim to several other Russian regions.
“If we look at the sequence of events and the incoming reports, the showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.”
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