Ukraine angered Moscow on Sunday when it unveiled the Euro 2020 outfits featuring Crimea annexed by Russia and nationalist slogans.
On Facebook, Andrey Pavelko, President of the Ukrainian Football Association, announced that Ukrainian players would wear “Special outfits” and posted pictures of the blue and yellow colored jerseys of the Ukrainian flag.
The outfits are shaped like Ukraine, including Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, and the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
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There are also slogans “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! “, referring to a patriotic song that became a rallying cry for protesters who ousted Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in a popular uprising in 2014.
“Nazi war cry”
This revolt was deemed illegal by Moscow and triggered a crisis between Russia and Ukraine, a former Soviet republic which became independent in 1991.
The call “Glory to Ukraine” and the answer “Glory to the heroes” are associated with the decades-long struggle for Ukrainian independence.
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These slogans drew criticism from Moscow for their association with WWII nationalist groups that both fought and cooperated with the Nazis.
“During the war, this Nazi war cry was used by regular and irregular nationalist Ukrainian armed units”, assured Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry on Sunday, on the Telegram application.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment to the national news agency TASS.