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Laughing teen Russian racer appears to give Nazi salute from go-karting podium

A teenage Russian go-karter is being investigated for seemingly throwing a Nazi salute after winning a European Championship race.

Artem Severiukhin, 15, was filmed banging his chest twice while on the podium in Portugal on Sunday — then extending his right arm in what appeared to be a clear Sieg Heil salute.

The grinning, blond-haired teen then broke into full-bodied laughter.

Motorsports’ governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said Monday it had launched “an immediate investigation” into the Russian’s “unacceptable conduct.”

Russian go-karter Artem Severiukhin seemingly gave a Nazi salute after winning a race in Portugal.
@nexta_tv
The International Automobile Federation announced that it is launching an investigation into Severiukhin's salute.
The International Automobile Federation announced that it is launching an investigation into Severiukhin’s salute.
@nexta_tv

The teen — who was racing under the Italian flag because of sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine — was also dropped by his team, Ward Racing.

The privately-owned Swedish team said it was “deeply in shame” of his behavior, which it “condemns in the strongest possible terms.”

“Ward Racing sees no possibility for continued cooperation with Artem Severyukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract,” the company said, while also apologizing “to those who were hurt or distressed by the occurrence.”

The Russian teenager 15-year-old was dropped from his team Ward Racing.
The Russian 15-year-old was dropped from his team Ward Racing.
@nexta_tv

The teen has insisted it is a misunderstanding, claiming he was just celebrating his win after seeing his family while on the podium in Portimao.

“I want to apologize to everyone for what happened,” he said in a social media video Monday.

“Standing on the podium, I made a gesture that many perceived as a Nazi salute — this is not true. I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity,” he insisted, saying he was a “fool” who was “ready to be punished,” but he insisted he “cannot explain” how “everything happened.”

Severiukhin apologized and said that he did not give a Nazi salute in a video on social media.
Severiukhin apologized and said that he did not give a Nazi salute in a video on social media.
@artem.severiukhin

“But please know that there was no intention in my actions. There was no support for Nazism or Fascism.”

However, the Russian Automobile Federation told motorsport.com that it considers any “manifestation of fascism and Nazism in Russian motorsport and among Russian athletes” to be “unacceptable” — even if “accidental.”



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