Irina Shayk Responds to Outrage for Allegedly Using Russian War Symbol

Irina Shayk Responds to Outrage for Allegedly Using Russian War Symbol

Irina Shayk has issued a response after being under fire this week for allegedly using a Russian war symbol in an Instagram Story.

The Russian supermodel posted an Instagram Story two days ago of a traditional potato salad from her native country with the caption "Russianzz on Wednaday." The post quickly went viral after Instagram watchdog Diet Prada reposted the photo, which she quickly deleted.

The outrage stemmed over her use of the letter "Z," which has been used by the Russian government as pro-war propaganda and a symbol of support for their invasion of Ukraine. Some users claimed Shayk's post was some sort of hidden message disguised as support for Russia. That same day, Russian forces had attacked the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, which left 23 dead including three children.

"I really hope these brands reconsider working with her when Russia uses Z to kill Ukrainians," one user tweeted, while another wrote that the symbol is the "equivalent of flashing swastika on your IG in 2022." Diet Prada's post resurfaced an image from 2020 where Shayk posed smiling with a book about Russian president Vladimir Putin. Other users, however, felt the claims were a reach, calling the criticism "misplaced."

Shayk, who has a child with Bradley Cooper, took to Instagram Stories again to clarify her original post in the wake of the internet outrage. "Sometimes a salad is just a salad," she wrote in white letters against a pink background. "I promise: no coded messages or political commentary here. Wishing everyone love."

Screenshot via @irinashayk Instagram Stories

In February, Shayk posted an anti-war message on Instagram, captioning an image of a peace sign: "No To War 🙏💔💔. I will be donating to @unicef and @redcrossukraine - Please check my stories for donation links and resources, give what you can. 💔 Praying for 🌏peace 🕊🙏🙏🙏"

Photo via Getty