Hidden Message in Zagitova’s “Heartbreaking Appeal to Japanese Fans in Japanese | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hidden Message in Zagitova’s “Heartbreaking Appeal to Japanese Fans in Japanese

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It is very important that I stay in touch with you!”

Zagitova has valued communicating with fans on social networking sites

Russian Alina Zagitova, gold medalist in women’s figure skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, suddenly posted a message in Japanese on her Instagram account. What on earth happened?

The message also spells out “Subscribe to my telegram. In fact, this “telegram” is believed to be a direct translation of “Telegram,” a social networking service from Russia. Zagitova uploaded the QR code for her Telegram account along with this message.

This is believed to be due to the Russian authorities’ announcement that they are blocking Instagram from the country. Since the invasion of Ukraine, the country has further strengthened its information control. The shutdown of Instagram in Russia is said to be due to the fact that its operator, Meta, has allowed posts calling for violence against Russia. There are said to be 60 million Instagram users in Russia, and the shutdown is likely to have a major impact.

Zagitova, too, has decided to “evacuate” to Telegram, where the impact will be less severe. The Telegram account itself was created at the beginning of the Russian invasion, but she also updated her Instagram account at the same time. However, it seems that Zagitova will be relocating to Telegram for the time being.

Zagitova, known as a Japanophile, fell in love with an Akita dog during her stay in Japan before the PyeongChang Olympics, where she won the gold medal, and the Akita Inu Preservation Society donated a female Akita dog to her. She was named “Masaru” (meaning victory). With Masaru, Zagitova visited the Japanese Ambassador and Mrs. Ambassador to Russia in January of this year, and reported on her Instagram that they had a friendly meeting. This announcement was also posted not only in Russian, but also in English and Japanese, showing that she wanted to convey her message to her fans.

However, the feelings of the fans must be mixed. But even the fans must have mixed feelings, for whatever message Zagitova sends out in this war-torn country, it feels like a political message. So, what kind of message will Zagitova send at her new location?

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