Demonstration | 

Supporters of Russia's invasion of Ukraine to host rally in Dublin this weekend

Russian supporters are planning another public demonstration in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on May 7

A motorist photographed Russian supporters on the M50 in Dublin on April 10

Ali Bracken

Russian supporters of the invasion of Ukraine are planning another public demonstration in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on May 7.

Plans for the demonstration, due to begin at the Papal Cross, are being circulated on social media.

The protest follows a small car-rally on April 10 in the capital along the M50 motorway by pro-Russian supporters.

Footage emerged on social media three weeks ago and depicted a dozen cars flying Russian flags and many also carrying the ‘Z’ sign — the symbol of support for Russian troops in Ukraine — driving through Dublin.

The cavalcade left from near Dublin Airport on April 10 and the footage depicted it proceeding through the airport roundabout.

The cars then parked in the Metropoint Business Park in nearby Swords for a period. One video shows a woman holding what appears to be a handgun or an imitation handgun.

Among the vehicles pictured was a Land Rover Defender 4x4 with the letter ‘Z’ painted on the bonnet.

Footage of the convoy also appeared on TikTok with a photograph claiming to show 25 of those involved holding Russian and Irish flags.

The display was criticised the following day by the Ukrainian embassy in Dublin.

However, in recent days, the same organisers of the April 10 demonstration have been circulating information about their latest planned rally on the social media app Telegram as well as on private Facebook groups.

It is billed as an “auto parade” in support of Russia’s invasion. It is also honouring the May 9 celebrations when Russians traditionally commemorate victory over Germany and the Nazis in World War II.

One security source said An Garda Síochána were “aware” of the planned Dublin protest, but it was “not a policing matter or concern at present”. Gardaí will be “on hand” if needs be, but “no trouble is anticipated”.

Footage of the April 10 demonstration in the capital was shared by the Ukrainian Embassy in Dublin, which denounced the “disgusting disrespect” against the “Irish people who stand against Russia’s war on Ukraine”.

The video originated from a private Russian Facebook group with around 19,500 members. The group states it is for Russians in Ireland who are standing against censorship.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland has called for the Russian ‘Z’ symbol in support of the invasion of Ukraine to be banned in Ireland, following the protests on April 10.

There have been interpretations of the symbol as meaning “for victory” from the Russian phrase “Za pobedy”.

Video of the pro-Russian car rally in Dublin on April 10

The letter ‘Z’ has become a symbol of support for the Russian invasion since it began in late February, with it appearing on billboards, clothing and apartment blocks in Russia.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko called for the symbol to be prohibited, saying: “Such rallies & Russian Z swastika should be prohibited. This ‘show’ took place in Dublin.”

The ‘Z’ symbol came to widespread attention when Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak displayed the letter Z on his leotard on the winners’ podium at a World Cup event in Doha early last month.

The symbol was spotted on Russian vehicles before and during the invasion of Ukraine and the ‘Z’ had previously appeared on vehicles during the annexation of Crimea and during the Syrian civil war.

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