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Z (military symbol)

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"Z" symbol"Z" symbol (enclosed in a square)"V" symbol"O" symbolSymbols used on Russian military vehicles during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
"Z" symbol
"Z" symbol"Z" symbol (enclosed in a square)"V" symbol"O" symbolSymbols used on Russian military vehicles during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
"Z" symbol (enclosed in a square)
"Z" symbol"Z" symbol (enclosed in a square)"V" symbol"O" symbolSymbols used on Russian military vehicles during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
"V" symbol
"Z" symbol"Z" symbol (enclosed in a square)"V" symbol"O" symbolSymbols used on Russian military vehicles during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
"O" symbol
Symbols used on Russian military vehicles during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Latin-script letter Z (Russian: зет, tr. zet, IPA: [zɛt]) is one of several symbols (including "V" and "O") painted on military vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces involved in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is speculated that the Z helps task forces distinguish themselves from other forces.[1][2]

Subsequently, it also became a militarist symbol used in Russian propaganda[9] and by Russian civilians as a sign of support for the invasion. Outside Russia, the symbol has been banned from public display in various countries. The "Z" symbol has been pejoratively called a zwastika or zwaztika, in reference to the Nazi swastika,[15] or pejoratively in Russian and Ukrainian as "ziga" (Russian: зига) in reference to Sieg Heil.[19] Some Ukrainian officials and commenters on the Internet also started referring to Russia as Ruzzia or RuZZia (Russian: Роzzия or РоZZия; Ukrainian: Роzzія or РоZZія),[24] often in lowercase.

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Latin script

Latin script

The Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic writing system based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet, derived from a form of the Greek alphabet which was in use in the ancient Greek city of Cumae, in southern Italy. It was adopted by the Etruscans and subsequently by the Romans. Several Latin-script alphabets exist, which differ in graphemes, collation and phonetic values from the classical Latin alphabet.

Romanization of Russian

Romanization of Russian

The romanization of the Russian language, aside from its primary use for including Russian names and words in text written in a Latin alphabet, is also essential for computer users to input Russian text who either do not have a keyboard or word processor set up for inputting Cyrillic, or else are not capable of typing rapidly using a native Russian keyboard layout (JCUKEN). In the latter case, they would type using a system of transliteration fitted for their keyboard layout, such as for English QWERTY keyboards, and then use an automated tool to convert the text into Cyrillic.

Russian Armed Forces

Russian Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly referred to as the Russian Armed Forces, comprise the military of Russia. In terms of active-duty personnel, they are the world's fifth-largest military force, with at least two million reserve personnel. Their branches consist of the Ground Forces, the Navy, and the Aerospace Forces, as well as three independent arms of service: the Strategic Rocket Forces, the Airborne Forces, and the Special Operations Forces.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated 8 million people being displaced within the country by late May as well as 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country as of 8 November 2022. Within five weeks of the invasion, Russia experienced its greatest emigration since the 1917 October Revolution. The invasion has also caused global food shortages.

Task force

Task force

A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology. Many non-military organizations now create "task forces" or task groups for temporary activities that might have once been performed by ad hoc committees.

Russia

Russia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, covering over 17,098,246 square kilometres (6,601,670 sq mi), and encompassing one-eighth of Earth's inhabitable landmass. Russia extends across eleven time zones and shares land boundaries with fourteen countries, more than any other country but China. It is the world's ninth-most populous country and Europe's most populous country, with a population of 146 million people. The country's capital and largest city is Moscow, the largest city entirely within Europe. Saint Petersburg is Russia's cultural centre and second-largest city. Other major urban areas include Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kazan.

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany was the German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party controlled the country, transforming it into a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany quickly became a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", alluded to the Nazi claim that Nazi Germany was the successor to the earlier Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and German Empire (1871–1918). The Third Reich, which Hitler and the Nazis referred to as the Thousand-Year Reich, ended in May 1945 after just 12 years when the Allies defeated Germany, ending World War II in Europe.

Use as a military symbol

Description

Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)
Russian military vehicles inscribed with a Z (and Z-boxed)

Various letters with corresponding meanings have been used by the Russian Armed Forces during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[25] The form of the "Z" symbol is a reproduction of the Latin letter Z, identical also to a capital Greek zeta. The "Z" symbol is used instead of the equivalent Cyrillic letter З (Ze) used in the Russian alphabet, which has been described as peculiar, considering the symbol's later association with Russian nationalism and pro-Putin politics.[26] This could be to avoid confusion with the numeral of a similar form 3, which is also used in Russia. The invasion has acquired the nickname "Operation Z", derived from the "Z" symbol.[27]

Purpose

Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.
Some of the other letters inscribed by the Russian military on their vehicles including a V, an O, and an O with a diagonal stroke.

Military experts think the symbols are identifying marks used to reduce friendly fire, similar to the invasion stripes used in the Normandy landings during World War II.[2][28] Some military experts think the symbols help distinguish different Russian army groups from one another, with former Royal United Services Institute director Michael Clarke saying that "often these symbols will be location-based: they will communicate where the unit is going" and pointing to the U.S. military's use of chevrons during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[29] The latter theory was confirmed by Russian veteran Sergey Kuvykin, who indicated in an interview with Life that symbols including "a 'Z' in a square, a 'Z' in a circle, a 'Z' with a star or simply 'Z' on its own" have been used to tell teams apart.[30]

Russian vehicles along the Russia–Ukraine border displayed the "Z" symbol during the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis in the weeks before the invasion.[31] During the Battle of Kharkiv, locals used the "Z" symbols to identify and track Russian vehicles on Telegram.[32]

Naming

On Instagram, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) posted on 3 March that the "Z" symbol is an abbreviation of the phrase "for victory" (Russian: за победу, romanizedza pobedu), while the "V" symbol stands for "strength is in truth" (Russian: сила в правде, romanizedsila v pravde) and "The task will be completed" (Russian: задача будет выполнена, romanizedzadacha budet vypolnena).[33][34][35] The MoD later suggested alternative meanings for "Z", including "For peace" (Russian: за мир, romanizedza mir), "For truth" (Russian: за правду, romanizedza pravdu), and the letter Z in English words demilitarization and denazification, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has asserted to be the purpose of the invasion.[36][37]

Another interpretation for "Z" is the Russian word for west (Russian: запад, romanizedzapad), to designate the Western Military District or west-bound infantry, with the "V" symbol similarly standing for the word for east (Russian: восток, romanizedvostok).[38][39][40] This term was used in the joint Zapad 2021 exercise between Belarus and Russia before the invasion.

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Russian Armed Forces

Russian Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly referred to as the Russian Armed Forces, comprise the military of Russia. In terms of active-duty personnel, they are the world's fifth-largest military force, with at least two million reserve personnel. Their branches consist of the Ground Forces, the Navy, and the Aerospace Forces, as well as three independent arms of service: the Strategic Rocket Forces, the Airborne Forces, and the Special Operations Forces.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated 8 million people being displaced within the country by late May as well as 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country as of 8 November 2022. Within five weeks of the invasion, Russia experienced its greatest emigration since the 1917 October Revolution. The invasion has also caused global food shortages.

Russian alphabet

Russian alphabet

The Russian alphabet is the script used to write the Russian language. It comes from the Cyrillic script, which was devised in the 9th century for the first Slavic literary language, Old Slavonic. Initially an old variant of the Bulgarian alphabet, it became used in the Kievan Rus' since the 10th century to write what would become the Russian language.

Friendly fire

Friendly fire

In military terminology, friendly fire or fratricide is an attack by belligerent or neutral forces on friendly troops while attempting to attack enemy/hostile targets. Examples include misidentifying the target as hostile, cross-fire while engaging an enemy, long range ranging errors or inaccuracy. Accidental fire not intended to attack enemy/hostile targets, and deliberate firing on one's own troops for disciplinary reasons, is not called friendly fire, and neither is unintentional harm to civilian or neutral targets, which is sometimes referred to as collateral damage. Training accidents and bloodless incidents also do not qualify as friendly fire in terms of casualty reporting.

Invasion stripes

Invasion stripes

Invasion stripes were alternating black and white bands painted on the fuselages and wings of Allied aircraft during World War II to reduce the chance that they would be attacked by friendly forces during and after the Normandy Landings. Three white and two black bands were wrapped around the rear of a fuselage just in front of the empennage (tail) and from front to back around the upper and lower wing surfaces.

Normandy landings

Normandy landings

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Royal United Services Institute

Royal United Services Institute

The Royal United Services Institute , registered as Royal United Service Institute for Defence and Security Studies and formerly the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, is a British defence and security think tank. It was founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley.

Michael Clarke (academic)

Michael Clarke (academic)

Michael Clarke is a British academic who specialises in defence studies. He was Director of the Royal United Services Institute from 2007 to 2015.

2003 invasion of Iraq

2003 invasion of Iraq

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a United States-led invasion of the Republic of Iraq and the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground) and lasted just over one month, including 26 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland invaded Iraq. Twenty-two days after the first day of the invasion, the capital city of Baghdad was captured by Coalition forces on 9 April 2003 after the six-day-long Battle of Baghdad. This early stage of the war formally ended on 1 May 2003 when U.S. President George W. Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in his Mission Accomplished speech, after which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established as the first of several successive transitional governments leading up to the first Iraqi parliamentary election in January 2005. U.S. military forces later remained in Iraq until the withdrawal in 2011.

Battle of Kharkiv (2022)

Battle of Kharkiv (2022)

The battle of Kharkiv was a military engagement that took place from February to May 2022 in and around the city of Kharkiv in Ukraine, as part of the northeastern Ukraine offensive and eastern Ukraine offensive during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Kharkiv, located just 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of the Russia–Ukraine border and a predominately Russian-speaking city, is the second-largest city in Ukraine and was considered a major target for the Russian military early in the invasion.

Instagram

Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with preapproved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tag and location, view trending content, like photos, and follow other users to add their content to a personal feed.

Ministry of Defence (Russia)

Ministry of Defence (Russia)

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation is the governing body of the Russian Armed Forces.

Use as pro-war symbolism

Russian state

Sergey Mironov wearing a pin with "Z" symbol
Sergey Mironov wearing a pin with "Z" symbol

Since mid-March 2022, the "Z" began to be used by the Russian government as a pro-war propaganda motif,[9][41][42] and has been appropriated by pro-Putin civilians as a symbol of support for Russia's invasion.[39][43] Governor Sergey Tsivilyov of Kuzbass (Russian: Кузбасс) changed the name of the region to a hybrid word that replaced the lowercase Cyrillic letter з with the capital Latin letter Z (Russian: КуZбасс, romanizedKuZbass).[44][45] The Roscosmos director general, Dmitry Rogozin, began spelling his surname as RogoZin (Russian: РогоZин),[7][46] and ordered employees at the Russia-managed Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to mark equipment with the "Z" and "V" symbols.[47] Pro-Kremlin Telegram channels have incorporated the letter Z in their names since the beginning of the invasion,[48] and Russian telecom authority Roskomnadzor changed the handle of its Telegram channel to showcase the "Z" in its name.[49] Russian government agencies have also promoted the "Z" symbol in nationalist messages and videos on VK.[50] Syrian soldiers contracted by Russia to join the invasion raised "Z" symbol posters while cheering in videos aired by Russian state media.[51] On 22 March 2022, Russia launched a Soyuz rocket with the "Z" symbol.[52]

Residents of Khabarovsk, including Young Guard of United Russia members, arranged in "Z" formation, as organized by the city administration and the United Russia party.[53]"Strength is in truth" (сила в правде), a Russian catchphrase, featuring the Latin letter "V"."Z" in ribbon of Saint George colors with hashtag #СвоихНеБросаем (#SvoikhNeBrosaem; "We don't abandon our own")[26]
Residents of Khabarovsk, including Young Guard of United Russia members, arranged in "Z" formation, as organized by the city administration and the United Russia party.[53]
Residents of Khabarovsk, including Young Guard of United Russia members, arranged in "Z" formation, as organized by the city administration and the United Russia party.[53]"Strength is in truth" (сила в правде), a Russian catchphrase, featuring the Latin letter "V"."Z" in ribbon of Saint George colors with hashtag #СвоихНеБросаем (#SvoikhNeBrosaem; "We don't abandon our own")[26]
"Strength is in truth" (сила в правде), a Russian catchphrase, featuring the Latin letter "V".
Residents of Khabarovsk, including Young Guard of United Russia members, arranged in "Z" formation, as organized by the city administration and the United Russia party.[53]"Strength is in truth" (сила в правде), a Russian catchphrase, featuring the Latin letter "V"."Z" in ribbon of Saint George colors with hashtag #СвоихНеБросаем (#SvoikhNeBrosaem; "We don't abandon our own")[26]
"Z" in ribbon of Saint George colors with hashtag #СвоихНеБросаем (#SvoikhNeBrosaem; "We don't abandon our own")[26]

Other

Local authorities in several parts of Russia have organized flash mobs in support of the invasion prominently featuring the symbol.[54] On social media, propaganda videos have been shared depicting flash mobs consisting of pro-war youth activists wearing black shirts decorated with the "Z" symbol and shouting, "For Russia, for Putin!", alongside the #СвоихНеБросаем (transl. #WeDon'tAbandonOurOwn) hashtag.[55][56] In a social media video, State Duma member Maria Butina drew a "Z" on her jacket to show support for the invasion and encouraged others to do so as well.[57] Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT has sold merchandise featuring the symbol as a show of support for Russian forces, often with a texture taken from the ribbon of Saint George.[54] Amazon sold "Z" symbol products in the UK,[58] but took down the listings on 8 March after receiving public criticism and media inquiries.[59][60] The "Z" symbol was also used in pro-Russian rallies in Serbia during the invasion.[61] In Venezuela, Chavista groups included the "Z" symbol in a mural in the Catia parish, in Caracas, depicting and supporting Vladimir Putin and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.[62]

Anti-war activists in Russia have seen their property defaced with graffiti containing the "Z" symbol. Russian film critic Anton Dolin, whose door was marked with the symbol, compared the "Z" to the zombie action-horror film World War Z (2013) and described the Russian army and pro-war activists as "zombified".[63] Police officers left "Z" markings while ransacking the building of the human rights organization Memorial after its government-mandated shutdown.[64] The apartment of a member of Pussy Riot – a protest art collective – has also been vandalized with the symbol.[64][65]

The symbol has also been used for vandalism and propaganda purposes outside of Russia. Such was the case in Moldova when unknown vandals painted the symbols "Z" and "V" over crosses at the World War II Heroes' Cemetery of Chișinău [ro], on graves of soldiers of the Axis-aligned Romania which fought against the Soviet Union.[66][67]

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Sergey Mironov

Sergey Mironov

Sergey Mikhailovich Mironov is a Russian politician. He was Chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, from 2001 to 2011. He leads the faction A Just Russia in the Parliament of Russia.

Soviet imagery during the Russo-Ukrainian War

Soviet imagery during the Russo-Ukrainian War

Soviet imagery has been used by Russian forces during the Russo-Ukrainian War, especially following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24 February 2022.

Propaganda

Propaganda

Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to influence or persuade an audience to further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is being presented. Propaganda can be found in news and journalism, government, advertising, entertainment, education, and activism and is often associated with material which is prepared by governments as part of war efforts, political campaigns, health campaigns, revolutionaries, big businesses, ultra-religious organizations, the media, and certain individuals such as soapboxers.

Sergey Tsivilyov

Sergey Tsivilyov

Sergey Yevgenyevich Tsivilyov, is a Ukrainian-born Russian statesman, politician, economist and former military officer who is currently serving as the 3rd Governor of Kemerovo Oblast since 17 September 2018. He is the member of the Bureau of the Supreme Council of the United Russia party.

Russian language

Russian language

Russian Russian [ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk] is an East Slavic language mainly spoken across Russia. It is the native language of the Russians, and belongs to the Indo-European language family. It is one of four living East Slavic languages, and is also a part of the larger Balto-Slavic languages. Besides Russia itself, Russian is an official language in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is used widely as a lingua franca throughout Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and to some extent in the Baltic states. It was the de facto language of the former Soviet Union, and continues to be used in public life with varying proficiency in all of the post-Soviet states.

Hybrid word

Hybrid word

A hybrid word or hybridism is a word that etymologically derives from at least two languages.

Romanization of Russian

Romanization of Russian

The romanization of the Russian language, aside from its primary use for including Russian names and words in text written in a Latin alphabet, is also essential for computer users to input Russian text who either do not have a keyboard or word processor set up for inputting Cyrillic, or else are not capable of typing rapidly using a native Russian keyboard layout (JCUKEN). In the latter case, they would type using a system of transliteration fitted for their keyboard layout, such as for English QWERTY keyboards, and then use an automated tool to convert the text into Cyrillic.

Roscosmos

Roscosmos

The State Space Corporation "Roscosmos", commonly known simply as Roscosmos, is a state corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research.

Dmitry Rogozin

Dmitry Rogozin

Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin is a Russian politician who was Director General of Roscosmos since 2018 until July 15, 2022. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in charge of the defense industry from 2011 to 2018, and Russia's ambassador to NATO from 2008 to 2011.

Baikonur Cosmodrome

Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Baikonur Cosmodrome is a spaceport in an area of southern Kazakhstan leased to Russia. The Cosmodrome is the world's first spaceport for orbital and human launches and the largest operational space launch facility. All crewed Russian spaceflights are launched from Baikonur.

Roskomnadzor

Roskomnadzor

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, abbreviated as Roskomnadzor (RKN), is the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian mass media. Its areas of responsibility include electronic media, mass communications, information technology and telecommunications, supervising compliance with the law, protecting the confidentiality of personal data being processed, and organizing the work of the radio-frequency service.

Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative centre of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the China–Russia border, at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, about 800 kilometers (500 mi) north of Vladivostok. With a 2010 population of 577,441 it is Russia's easternmost city with more than half a million inhabitants. The city was the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia from 2002 until December 2018, when Vladivostok took over that role. It is the largest city in the Russian Far East, having overtaken Vladivostok in 2015. It was known as Khabarovka until 1893. As is typical of the interior of the Russian Far East, Khabarovsk has an extreme climate with very strong seasonal swings resulting in strong cold winters and relatively hot and humid summers.

Analysis

Defaced "Z" in Ivanovo (Russia)
Defaced "Z" in Ivanovo (Russia)
Oleh Shupliak, allegory «ZΛO (English: Evil) must die!», 2022Russian diaspora protests against the war in Ukraine (Kraków, 20 March 2022). The sign reads: Stop killing children, shame on Z-fascists
Oleh Shupliak, allegory «ZΛO (English: Evil) must die!», 2022
Oleh Shupliak, allegory «ZΛO (English: Evil) must die!», 2022Russian diaspora protests against the war in Ukraine (Kraków, 20 March 2022). The sign reads: Stop killing children, shame on Z-fascists
Russian diaspora protests against the war in Ukraine (Kraków, 20 March 2022). The sign reads: Stop killing children, shame on Z-fascists

Kamil Galeev of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars said on 7 March that the "symbol invented just a few days ago became a symbol of new Russian ideology and national identity."[68] A number of critics have described the "Z" as a variant of Nazi symbolism,[38][69] with some comparing it to the swastika;[8][70] the symbol has been pejoratively nicknamed by some Internet users as the zwastika[15] and Zieg (or Ziega (Russian: Zига) in Russian) from the Nazi salute Sieg Heil (which is often called "зига" ("siega") in Russian).[19] Some Ukrainian officials and Internet users started using the symbol to refer to Russia as Ruzzia or RuZZia.[24] Also on 7 March, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov condemned the use of the "Z" symbol, noting its resemblance to the name of the Station Z gas chamber of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.[71]

In Novosibirsk, independent city councillor Khelga Pirogova told RFE/RL's Siberia.Realities: "I have been getting rather a lot of messages from residents who are asking that something be done about this symbol. They don't like it. It arouses in them anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions."[72]

On 25 March, Russian journalist Izabella Yevloyeva was charged under Russia's "false information" law after sharing a post on social media that described the "Z" symbol as being "synonymous with aggression, death, pain and shameless manipulation". Under a new law passed on 4 March, she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.[73]

On 19 April, Ex-Crimea Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya said that the letter Z "symbolizes tragedy and grief for both Russia and Ukraine."[74]

Russian banking tycoon Oleg Tinkov wrote on his Instagram page, on 19 April, in Russian: "Of course there are morons who draw Z, but 10% of any country are morons."[75]

On 23 May, Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev announced that he had resigned from his position in protest over the Russian invasion of Ukraine,[76] referring to the invasion as an "aggressive war",[77] saying that it was not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also "the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country".[78]

Discover more about Analysis related topics

Ivanovo

Ivanovo

Ivanovo is a city in Russia. It is the administrative center and largest city of Ivanovo Oblast, located 254 kilometers (158 mi) northeast of Moscow and approximately 100 kilometers (62 mi) from Yaroslavl, Vladimir and Kostroma. Ivanovo has a population of 361,644 as of the 2021 Census, making it the 50th largest city in Russia. Until 1932, it was previously known as Ivanovo-Voznesensk. The youngest city of the Golden Ring of Russia.

Oleh Shupliak

Oleh Shupliak

Oleg Ilyich Shupliak is a Ukrainian artist living in Berezhany. Father of Vitalii Shupliak.

Allegory

Allegory

As a literary device or artistic form, an allegory is a narrative or visual representation in which a character, place, or event can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance. Authors have used allegory throughout history in all forms of art to illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.

O

O

O, or o, is the fifteenth letter and the fourth vowel letter in the Latin alphabet, used in the modern English alphabet, the alphabets of other western European languages and others worldwide. Its name in English is o, plural oes.

Kraków

Kraków

Kraków, or Cracow, is the second-largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, the city dates back to the seventh century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town with Wawel Royal Castle was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, one of the first 12 sites granted the status.

Nazi symbolism

Nazi symbolism

The 20th-century German Nazi Party made extensive use of graphic symbols, especially the swastika, notably in the form of the swastika flag, which became the co-national flag of Nazi Germany in 1933, and the sole national flag in 1935. A very similar flag had represented the Party beginning in 1920.

Oleksii Reznikov

Oleksii Reznikov

Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov is a Ukrainian lawyer and politician who has served as the Minister of Defence of Ukraine since 4 November 2021. Reznikov previously has served in several other positions in the government of Ukraine; Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration from 2016 to 2018, and deputy mayor-secretary of the Kyiv City Council from June 2014 to December 2015. Reznikov also served as Head of Ukraine's National delegation in Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe from 2015 to 2016, and was chosen by President Volodymyr Zelensky on 5 May 2020 to represent Ukraine in the working political subgroup at the Trilateral Contact Group regarding a settlement to the War in Donbas.

Gas chamber

Gas chamber

A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or other animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. Poisonous agents used include hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide.

Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is the largest city and administrative centre of Novosibirsk Oblast and Siberian Federal District in Russia. As of the 2021 Census, it had a population of 1,633,595, making it the most populous city in Siberia and the third-most populous city in Russia. The city is located in southwestern Siberia, on the banks of the Ob River.

Criminal charge

Criminal charge

A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority asserting that somebody has committed a crime. A charging document, which contains one or more criminal charges or counts, can take several forms, including:complaint information indictment citation traffic ticket

Natalia Poklonskaya

Natalia Poklonskaya

Natalia Vladimirovna Poklonskaya is a Ukrainian-born Russian lawyer. She is serving as the adviser to the Prosecutor General of Russia since 14 June 2022.

Oleg Tinkov

Oleg Tinkov

Oleg Yuryevich Tinkov is a Russian-born Cypriot entrepreneur and businessman.

International censure

By governments

  • Estonia – in April 2022, a ban was issued by the Riigikogu.[79]
  • Czech Republic – as part of a ban on publicly supporting the invasion, the Ministry of the Interior has classified the "Z" symbol as an equivalent to the swastika.[80][58]
  • Georgia – the ban of symbols is proposed by Lelo for Georgia opposition party.[81]
  • Germany – the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community said that using "Z" to indicate support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.[82][83][84]
    • Since April 2022, the vehicle registration office in German city Herford is no longer issuing car plates with the letter "Z" because of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.[85]
  • Kazakhstan – the military symbols are prohibited from being shown on vehicles in public, with the WKO Police Department explicitly stating that "Z", "V", and "O" symbols are not permitted.[86][58][87][88]
  • Kyrgyzstan – police departments have restricted the "Z" symbol from being displayed on vehicles in public.[58]
  • Latvia – the Saeima has added the "Z" and "V" symbols to a list of banned political symbols, like the previously listed swastika and hammer and sickle,[89][90] because they glorify military aggression and war crimes.
  • Lithuania – on 19 April 2022, Lithuania banned the "Z" and "V" symbols together with the ribbon of Saint George.[91]
  • Moldova – since 7 April 2022, the symbols "Z" and "V" and the ribbon of Saint George are banned in Moldova.[92]
  • Poland – from 13 April 2022, "whoever uses or promotes symbols or names supporting the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine shall be liable to a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to 2 years".[93][94]
  • Ukraine – on 22 May 2022, the Verkhovna Rada banned the symbols "Z" and "V" used to promote the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, but agreed with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to allow their use for educational or historical purposes.[95][96]

By organizations

Sporting

While participating in the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series during the invasion, Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak wore a shirt with a taped-on "Z" symbol while standing beside Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun on the podium. Kovtun won the gold medal, while Kuliak won the bronze. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) denounced Kuliak's "shocking behaviour" and stated that it would request "disciplinary proceedings" against Kuliak from the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation. On 7 March, the FIG banned Russian and Belarusian gymnasts and officials from taking part in its competitions.[97][98] On 17 May the FIG sanctioned Kuliak with a one-year ban, ending May 17, 2023 or six months after the ban on Russian athletes is lifted and ruled that he is to be stripped of his bronze medal and prize money.[99]

Virtus.pro professional Dota 2 esports player Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko allegedly drew the "Z" on the game map during a qualifying match for the Dota Pro Circuit. After drawing criticism from the community, the team was disqualified from the circuit.[100]

Business

For sensitivity reasons, several companies have voluntarily removed uses of the letter Z from logos and product names, even if they predate the invasion, including Latvian armored vehicle manufacturer Dartz,[101] Zurich Insurance (which suspended the use of its logo containing an encircled "Z" on social media),[102] and Samsung Electronics (which has re-branded several Samsung Galaxy Z-brand smartphones when promoted in the Baltic states).[103][104] In March 2022, Ocado launched a new sub-division called Zoom, which had a 'Z' logo that had to be changed, after social media users said it looked like the Russian symbol.[105][106]

In Lappeenranta, Finland, after receiving complaints by local residents, a transport company decided to change the "Z" route of its buses into "X", to avoid associations with the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to the Z letter being used in Russian propaganda.[107]

In April 2022, Singaporean transportation company ComfortDelGro announced that they will remove the "Z" letter from its Zig Booking App in order to prevent "possible misunderstandings" with the Russian military symbol.[108]

In June 2022, Japanese low-cost airline ZIPAIR Tokyo announced that the large letter "Z" on the tail of all of its planes would be replaced with a green geometric pattern to avoid confusion with the Russian military symbol.[109]

Discover more about International censure related topics

Ministry of the Interior (Czech Republic)

Ministry of the Interior (Czech Republic)

The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic is a government ministry tasked with responsibilities in public and internal security, citizenship, identity cards and social security numbers, as well as travel, border, immigration control and civil service among others. The ministry has under its jurisdiction police, Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI), fire department and Czech Post.

Lelo for Georgia

Lelo for Georgia

Lelo for Georgia is a centrist liberal political party in Georgia that was created at the end of 2019 by businessmen Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze. The party has attracted a number of prominent political figures and parties, including David Usupashvili's Development Movement, the New Rights Party and Pikria Chikhradze. It also has attracted a number of centre-left political figures, such as Grigol Gegelia.

Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and for Community, abbreviated BMI, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its main office is in Berlin, with a secondary seat in Bonn. The current minister of the Interior and Community is Nancy Faeser. It is comparable to the British Home Office or a combination of the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice, because both manage several law enforcement agencies.

Herford

Herford

Herford is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located in the lowlands between the hill chains of the Wiehen Hills and the Teutoburg Forest. It is the capital of the district of Herford.

Hammer and sickle

Hammer and sickle

The hammer and sickle is a symbol meant to represent proletarian solidarity, a union between agricultural and industrial workers. It was first adopted during the Russian Revolution at the end of World War I, the hammer representing workers and the sickle representing the peasants.

2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series

2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series

The 2022 FIG World Cup circuit in Artistic Gymnastics is a series of competitions officially organized and promoted by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in 2022. Due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the International Gymnastics Federation implemented restrictions regarding the use of Russian and Belarusian anthems and flags for the competitions in Cottbus and Doha. Starting March 7, the FIG banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part in FIG-sanctioned competitions.

Ivan Kuliak

Ivan Kuliak

Ivan Vitalievich Kuliak is a Russian artistic gymnast. He is the 2019 Russian Junior all-around and floor champion and the horizontal bar silver medalist. In March 2022 he gained notoriety for displaying a pro-invasion Z symbol during a medal ceremony, shortly after the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Illia Kovtun

Illia Kovtun

Illia Yuriyovych Kovtun is a Ukrainian artistic gymnast who competed at the 2020 Olympic Games. He is the 2021 World and European all-around bronze medalist, and is a two-time junior world championships medalist.

Podium

Podium

A podium is a platform used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greek πόδι (foot). In architecture a building can rest on a large podium. Podiums can also be used to raise people, for instance the conductor of an orchestra stands on a podium as do many public speakers. Common parlance has shown an increasing use of podium in North American English to describe a lectern.

Gold medal

Gold medal

A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture.

Bronze medal

Bronze medal

A bronze medal in sports and other similar areas involving competition is a medal made of bronze awarded to the third-place finisher of contests or competitions such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The outright winner receives a gold medal and the second place a silver medal. More generally, bronze is traditionally the most common metal used for all types of high-quality medals, including artistic ones. The practice of awarding bronze third place medals began at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri, before which only first and second places were awarded.

International Gymnastics Federation

International Gymnastics Federation

The International Gymnastics Federation is the body governing all disciplines of competitive gymnastics. Its headquarters is in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was founded on July 23, 1881, in Liège, Belgium, making it the world's oldest existing international sports organisation. Originally called the European Federation of Gymnastics, it had three member countries—Belgium, France and the Netherlands—until 1921, when non-European countries were admitted and it received its current name.

Source: "Z (military symbol)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_(military_symbol).

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See also
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