Russian karting champion, 15, fired for podium ‘Nazi salute’ insists he did NOT support fascism

A Russian junior kart champion was thrown out of his racing team and is being investigated by tournament organizers after he appeared to make a Nazi salute on the podium before laughing hysterically.

Artem Severiukhin, 15, slapped his chest and lifted an open palm after winning first place in an 11-15 race at the European Karting Championships in Portugal yesterday.

Severiukhin’s team Ward Racing fired the star chart pilot after the tournament organizers, FIA, launched an investigation into his ‘unacceptable behavior’.

But the racer said the gesture was not a sign that he supported fascism, and instead claimed it was a traditional Italian gesture because he was driving under the Italian flag.

He said: ‘I would like to apologize. I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity.

‘I am ready to be punished, but there was no support for Nazism or fascism.’

Artem Severiukhin, 15, holds out his arm defiantly for a few moments while the Italian national anthem plays

The Russian karting master beat himself twice on the chest before performing the gesture

The Russian karting master beat himself twice on the chest before performing the gesture

His Swedish team said: ‘Ward Racing strongly condemns pilot Artem Severiukhin’s personal actions during the award ceremony on April 10, 2022, as it views them as an expression of unsportsmanlike conduct, an unacceptable violation of ethical and moral sports. codex.

“On the basis of these considerations, Ward Racing sees no possibility of continuing cooperation with Artem Severiukhin and will continue to terminate its racing contract.”

The teenager’s firing followed the news earlier that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) will investigate the salute.

Artem laughed so hysterically at one in the crowd, as if he dared to raise the salute

Artem laughed so hysterically at one in the crowd, as if he dared to raise the salute

Severiukhin (center) won first place in the 11-15 class yesterday under the Italian flag

Severiukhin (center) won first place in the 11-15 class yesterday under the Italian flag

They said this afternoon: ‘[FIA] has launched an immediate inquiry into the unacceptable conduct.

“The FIA ​​will soon communicate the further steps that will be taken in this matter.”

Artem Severiukhin, 15, won first place in the 11-15 bracket yesterday.

Then he slaps himself twice on the chest and lifts an open palm up into the air while giggling.

Severiukhin could have performed the fascist Roman salute of Italy when he competed under the Italian flag. It is not clear how he was able to compete under the Italian flag.

During the medal ceremony in Portimão, the Italian national anthem also played.

But in Italy, the far right movement is also frowned upon – and has been illegal to appear in public since 1952.

The race driver said the gesture was not a sign that he supported fascism, and instead claimed it was a traditional Italian gesture because he was driving under the Italian flag

The race driver said the gesture was not a sign that he supported fascism, and instead claimed it was a traditional Italian gesture because he was driving under the Italian flag

He said: 'I would like to apologize.  I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity

The teenager wiped the tears away from his eyes in an apology on Instagram

He said: ‘I would like to apologize. I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity. ‘I am ready to be punished, but there was no support for Nazism or fascism’

Under the post-war ‘Scelba Act’, all forms of ‘Nazi apology’ were banned.

The Kremlin has justified its war in Ukraine as a ‘de-Nazification’ effort.

Vladimir Putin said he was invading Ukraine to ‘protect people from bullying and genocide’ by President Zelensky’s ‘neo-Nazi regime’.

After the footage went viral on Twitter and Reddit, furious users pointed out how harsh Severiukhin's gesture was (file image)

After the footage went viral on Twitter and Reddit, furious users pointed out how harsh Severiukhin’s gesture was (file image)

Moscow’s absurd claim comes despite Zelensky being a Jew. Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal is also believed to have Jewish heritage.

After the footage went viral on Twitter and Reddit, furious users pointed out how harsh Severiukhin’s gesture was.

Redditor Captain Woodrow-f call wrote: ‘Women and children are being slaughtered by demons [en masse] – but hell, let’s make a good joke about it. Unreal … just unreal. ‘

The news follows a Russian gymnast showing the pro-Putin ‘Z’ logo at last month’s World Gymnastics Championships.

Ivan Kuliak, 20, breathed a sigh of relief and displayed the 'Z' symbol next to his Ukrainian rival

Ivan Kuliak, 20, breathed a sigh of relief and displayed the ‘Z’ symbol next to his Ukrainian rival

Gymnast Ivan Kuliak, 20, blew out his chest as he displayed the pro-war symbol next to his Ukrainian rival Illia Kovtun.

The action was condemned by the International Gymnastics Federation, which said it would investigate the ‘shocking behavior’.

Earlier today, the FIA ​​told MailOnline that they would not comment on the incident.

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