Police detained supporters flying Russian and DPR flags after Rublev’s match at the Australian Open.
The match between Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev and Serbian Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open ended in scandal. A group of fans were arrested by Australian police for holding a Russian flag with a portrait of President Vladimir Putin alongside the DPR flag. Serbian fans also joined the action. What about the lauded Western democracy and freedom of expression?
What caused this situation
The theme of the national flag has become the main theme at the Australian Open 2023. It appeared throughout the tournament, either in the context of the Russian tricolor or the Ukrainian flag. It all started with the appearance of a Russian flag in the match between Ukrainian Ekaterina Beindl and Russian Kamilla Rakhimiva, which instantly caused outrage after Ukraine in Canberra, who posted a relevant post on social networks and contributed to the banning of the tournament administration. Flags of Russia and Belarus in the stands.
However, no sanctions were applied because a group of fans who came to the match between Russian Andrei Rublev and Finn Emil Ruusuvuori with the Ukrainian flag kept Andrei away from the game. The judge even called the Russian to clarify if everything was okay. Rublev politely noted that the Ukrainian flag did not interfere with him, but the insults to him. But the Australian Open leadership shelved that story because offending Ukraine now means political suicide.
Arrest for the Russian flag
And so, in the quarter-final match between Rublev and Djokovic, the fans staged a demonstration with the DPR flag and the Russian tricolor flag, on which a photo of President Putin is depicted. Moreover, there were not only Russian, but also Serbian fans, with whom they had long-standing warm relations and supported each other in various international competitions. The action took place after Semyon Boikov, the assignee of the Australian Cossacks, was called on social networks to resist the banning of Russian symbols at the championship in Australia. Among the fans participating in the action were Russian-speaking cyclists “Night Wolves”.
Yes, the fans have officially violated the order of the Australian Tennis Federation, which categorically opposes the Russian and Belarusian flags. Without Ukrainian provocations, there would be no bans. But a much bigger question arises as to why fans were arrested by the Australian police. If they really broke the law, that’s one thing.
If the arrest took place solely because of the presence of the flag, it is chaos and another act of disrespect for those who simply express their love for the country. Of course you can see something else in this as well, but all this will be at the level of assumptions and assumptions. And in any case, isn’t expressing one’s position the same as the principle of democracy and freedom of expression promoted in the West?
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