What is the meaning of the letter Z used by the Russian army after the invasion of Ukraine

What is the meaning of the letter Z used by the Russian army after the invasion of Ukraine

Since the beginning of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, the letter “Z” has been distinguished among the Russian forces, There are many theories about the meaning, Becoming an icon is very present in public places from cars to nail polish, but what does that mean?

The letter “Z” (a letter from the Latin alphabet not found in Cyrillic used in Russia), appears in Ukraine In order to distinguish Russian military units From Ukrainians who use very similar equipment.

But this signal to avoid friendly fire has become a symbol that is starting to appear in cars in Moscow, on clothes or on social media pages. Something the authorities seem to encourage.

The Russian Ministry of Defense on its Instagram and Telegram profiles Reject this message in multiple messages: “Za Pobedo” (“For Victory”), “Za Mir” (“For Peace”), “Za Pravdo” (“For the Truth”), “Za Rossio” (“For Russia”).

Among the theories that seek to explain the meaning of “Z”, some are more obscure, such as those who believe that it is the word “zapad”, which means “west” in Russian, In reference to the armed forces of the western region of the country.

For others, this is the first letter of the surname of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.


From politicians to celebrities in RussiaIt became normal for the letter “Z” to appear in support of the Kremlin.

A few days ago, 20-year-old Russian gymnast Ivan Kulyak wore the letter “Z” embossed on his clothing as he climbed to the third-place podium at the Gymnastics World Cup in Qatar. Next to him, in the first staircase, is a Ukrainian athlete.

The International Gymnastics Federation demanded “the opening of a disciplinary process against Kolyak for his disruptive behaviour.” Kolyak responded to Russian media that he would do “the same” again: “I wanted to show my position. As an athlete, I always fight for victory and will work for peace.”

And local media published a picture taken from above, showing about 60 minor patients and Their caregivers form the letter “Z” in the hospital yard In Kazan (in the southwest).

Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator, wrote its name on Telegram with the letter “Z”: “RoskomnadZor”.

In many Russian regions (even in the most isolated regions) expressions of support for the operation in Ukraine multiply, with messages such as “We will not abandon our region”, Choirs of women wearing the letter “Z” on their chest, Taxis with the letter “Z” on the window and parked cars in the shape of the letter “Z”.

A resident of Donetsk, a pro-Russian separatist city in eastern Ukraine, posted a picture of her on Instagram Her nails are painted with the letter “Z” white. on a black background.

In Barnaul (central-southern Russia) they showed a huge “Z” in the snow, in the colors of St. George’s stripe, orange and red, Russian military symbol.

There are also those who smell the smell of business opportunity and T-shirts for sale online with the letter “Z”.

On the other hand, opponents of military intervention have more difficulty displaying their symbols in public places, Even when there are small demonstrations every day (Although it is prohibited).

The walls of Moscow seem from time to time covered with messages of peace, But it doesn’t take long for it to erase.


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