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'Sinister' Pro-Russia symbols carved into trees near Ukrainian refugee shelter in Kerry

Several ‘Z’ carvings, which are used as a pro-war symbol in favour of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, were spotted in multiple locations around the town.

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A 'Z' symbol carved into a tree along the Fossa Way in Killarney, Co. Kerry (Photo: The Kerryman)

A 'Z' symbol carved into a tree along the Fossa Way in Killarney, Co. Kerry (Photo: The Kerryman)

A 'Z' symbol carved into a tree along the Fossa Way in Killarney, Co. Kerry (Photo: The Kerryman)

The community in Killarney, Co. Kerry is outraged after “sinister” pro-Russia symbols were carved into trees near accommodation being used to house Ukrainian refugees.

Several ‘Z’ carvings, which are used as a pro-war symbol in favour of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, were spotted in multiple locations around the town, The Kerryman reports.

The markings have appeared within Killarney National Park and along the Fossa Way, near the Innisfallen Hotel, which is currently being used as temporary accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

Although some believe that the ‘Z’ carvings existed long before the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, other Ukrainian refugees have expressed concern about the “disturbing” symbols.

“I don’t know how to understand it. For us Ukrainians who have fled Russian aggression, the sign is associated with the marking of the Russian army, the Eastern Forces of Russia, which for us is a symbol of the aggressor,” said refugee Natayla Krasnenkova.

“Even though we are safe, our subconscious continues to signal danger to us. Therefore, for many people, this symbol is very disturbing.”

Killarney Cathaoirleach Marie Moloney said that she hopes that there is no malice in the markings.

“I hope there is nothing sinister in them,” the Labour politician said.

“Regardless of what or who are etching these symbols, Ukrainian refugees are very welcome in Killarney. I trust that they [the symbols] won’t disturb the Ukrainian community.”

Killarney Superintendent Flor Murphy said Gardaí are aware of the markings but do not believe that there is any threat involved.

“But we’ve had no formal or official complaints, and we’re not aware of any other instances or incidents that would be of concern in this context. We will keep the matter under review,” he said.

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