Pro-War Russians Raise Arms To Salute in Video: 'Remind You of Anything?'

A video appearing to show Russian students chanting in support of the invasion of Ukraine has gone viral on social media.

German journalist Julian Röpcke posted the video to his Twitter page on Wednesday and it has been viewed over 400,000 times.

He captioned the video: "Russia tonight, does this remind you of anything #fascism," seemingly in reference to the youth support of Nazi Germany and the Nazi salute during World War II.

Röpcke also provided background information regarding the video in the comment section and said the people were chanting in support of Russia at a mall in Kazan, Russia.

"See how [students] raise their hands and shout 'Forward Russia.' This is a 'patriotic flash mob' organized by the administration of the [Kazan State Institute of Culture] university," a picture shared in the comment section by Röpcke read.

"Today in the Kazan Mall shopping center, students of the Kazan State Institute of Culture took part in a flash mob in support of the Russian army in Ukraine. According to those responsible, participation in the flash mob was mandatory. It was possible to refuse only with an explanatory note."

Newsweek has not been able to independently verify these claims, however.

The individuals in the video can be seen wearing a white overcoat with a "Z" crest on their chest.

Throughout the video a woman can be heard chanting into a mic, with the people in the white overcoats repeatedly pumping their fists in the air and chanting alongside her.

Multiple people around those chanting can be seen recording their actions.

Newsweek has contacted the Kazan State Institute of Culture for comment.

While its true meaning remains debated, the letter Z has become a symbol of the Ukrainian invasion.

The markings of a white Z were spotted years ago on Russian tanks taking part in the Syrian civil war, according to The Evening Standard.

As such, many have deduced that the symbol is meant to help soldiers on the ground differentiate their side's vehicles from those of the enemy, reducing friendly fire. It has also appeared spray-painted on doors in Ukrainian regions successfully captured by Russia.

Away from the battlefield, it has begun to be used by civilians who support the war. An image of children and their parents from a hospice lining up to form a giant Z in the snow began circulating on social media this week.

Children from a hospice in the city of Kazan, in the central Tatarstan region, lined up with their parents to form a giant Z in the snow over last weekend and the image began circulating on social media this week.

It was the idea of the chairman of a cancer charity that runs the hospice, Vladimir Vavilov, according to a Telegraph report.

"Our patients and the entire team took part in it, about 60 people in total. People lined up in the form of the letter 'Z,'" Vavilov said.

"In our left hand we held leaflets with the flags of the LPR [Luhansk People's Republic], DPR [Donetsk People's Republic], Russia and Tatarstan and we clenched our right hand into a fist."

Follow Newsweek's live blog for the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Russia
A video has gone viral on social media showing Russians singing and chanting in support of the war. The video has been viewed over 400,000 times. Julian Röpcke