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Russian FM Spokeswoman Throws Punches at 'Press' in Support of Olympic Athletes

Instagram / mzakharovamid

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has released a clip in support of Russia’s Olympic athletes that shows her taking aim at the press — literally. 

In the minute and a half-long video posted to her Instagram, Zakharova, who is not shy with her criticisms of foreign media, can be seen punching a dummy with the word “PRESS” emblazoned across its torso before fielding journalists’ questions about the Olympics. 

Russian athletes are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner instead of their national flag due to the country being banned from international sporting events for two years over state-sponsored doping violations.

When asked about Russia’s “neutral status,” Zakharova replies: “The status does not matter. The most important thing is the pride our sportsmen have, and the world knows of this.”

She has a similar reaction when asked about her thoughts on the replacement of the Russian national anthem with music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: “We love our rivals on the pedestal, so let them listen to classical.”

To finish the ad, Zakharova speaks directly to the athletes in Tokyo: “We love you, we believe in you, we wish you victory. And I want to quote our foreign friends, and all say together, we will rock you. From Russia, with love.” 

The ad cuts to black while the beat to “We Will Rock You” by Queen plays in the background, eventually showing the hashtag “#wewillROCyou.” 

Russia has been promoting the slogan heavily as part of its Olympics showing, appearing in graffiti and social media posts across Russia. “ROC,” the Russian Olympic Committee’s initials, can also be transliterated to “Rus,” giving the hashtag double meaning.

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