Adidas accused of historical insensitivity for its Russia "tank dress" - Kyiv Post

23:10, 07 May 2018
Politics
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Twitter / Ievgen Olefirenko

The $90 dress, released in anticipation of the 2018 World Cup, which is being hosted by Russia this summer, does not feature Russian national insignia, but instead has “USSR” emblazoned on the front, the Kyiv Post reports.

It also features a badge with the hammer and sickle symbol of the repressive Soviet totalitarian regime.

According to the Adidas website, the dress, and the accompanying replica 1991 soccer jersey, are made into “fashion forward statement pieces.” However, reactions online to the release of the items ranged from the bemused to outraged.

Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Being sick with “imperial nostalgia” – it still occurs. A bit surprising from the famous @adidas, though.”

Other Twitter users sarcastically suggested that Adidas should create an entire line of totalitarian attire options.

Twitter user Ievgen Olefirenko illustrated the point with a photoshop.

Other users even assert links between Adidas’s decision and broader German policies: Berlin recently approved the construction of the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline, which some consider to benefit the Kremlin by increasing Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

The outrage has spread onto Adidas’s official Facebook page, using the hashtag #stopadidas. Lithuanian internet users have organized a “flash-mob”, and encouraged web users from around the world and especially from the former USSR to participate.

Adidas Ukraine could not be reached for comment, and it is not clear if any Ukrainian Adidas outlets will stock the dress.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine's SBU Security Service of Ukraine early January 2018 said the agency was conducting an investigation as part of a criminal case into possible operations of Germany's DHL Express, Adidas AG, and Puma SE in the Russian-annexed Crimea.

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