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Editorial | The Severiukhin case: the whole truth about the “Nazi salute”

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THE SEVERIUKHIN CASE: THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE "NAZI SALUTE"

21 June 2022

Let's see if we can do it. Let's see if 2 months after the incident it is possible to speak freely (without being subjected to verbal assaults, death threats, insults, popular condemnations, etc.) about what happened in Portimao on 10 April 2022 when the 15-year-old Russian Artem Severiukhin, on the podium of the OK FIA Karting Championship, during the Italian national anthem, made a striking gesture: a Nazi-fascist salute. Let's see if we can restore the reality of the facts. Since we were there. While all those who raised the most ruthless "shitstorm", were at home and knew nothing of what actually happened but were very ready to pass judgment and to stoke the maximum possible verbal violence. Let’s see.

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What happened that day is explained and summed up very well by the still image that went around the world, a few hours after the final of the OK class of the FIA Karting European Championship: Artem Severiukhin won, got on the podium and during the Italian anthem he struck his right fist twice on his chest and extended an arm. Which lasted a second, maximum two. We who were there did not notice anything. Or, rather, we noticed the quick gesture, but we did not interpret it as a Nazi-fascist salute, but as a sort of dedication "from the heart" (Artem beats his fist twice on his chest) to a group of people in front of him (because then, in fact, he held out his arm for a moment as if pointing to them).
That's right, because in front of him, behind him and more to the left than me, there was a group of his adult Russian compatriots who cheered him on, laughed, shouted, gesticulated and mimed the gesture. Nobody gives them too much weight, because we are all facing the podium, but in any case it is clear that behind us there was enthusiasm and excitement (perhaps dictated by a few too many beers ...) and that Severiukhin was attracted to them, so much so that in the end he made that gesture by now known (perhaps unconsciously of the value it has and only because it was incited by those in front of him?) and burst out laughing addressing precisely those people.
Stop, this is what happened. The Italian national anthem ended (Severiukhin, a Russian, could not race under the Russian flag due to the restrictions imposed because of the war between Russia and Ukraine, so he chose to run with an Italian license, a very normal thing to happen), celebrations, interviews and nothing more.

Here are some of the comments that appeared on our social media posts and YouTube videos regarding Artem Severiukhin.

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