Nazi Marks or Victory? What Does Mysterious ‘Z Sign’ on Russian Tanks Suggests and Why Kremlin Love Symbols


Russian tanks and armoured vehicles are increasingly common in Ukrainian territory ever since the invasion started over two weeks ago.

Besides the clash, violence and shelling, social media is full of the images of “Z” marking painted on the sides of Russian tanks and vehicles. Many protesters, especially those supporting Russia, have been found wearing them on t-shirts too.

The three pieces of tape formed the letter Z has recently become a symbol of support for Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine. Here is all you need to know about the “Z mark”.

What Does the Z Symbol Means?

The Russian Military is putting “Z” letter on its vehicles departing to Ukraine. Russian analyst Kamil Galeev has suggested that it could mean “Za pobedy” (for victory) or “Zapad” (West). However, the motif has become a symbol for new Russian ideology and national identity, he added.

On the other hand, some believe that it could be a signal for Russians to identify their own vehicles in the warzone and avoid friendly fire. Another argument says that the symbol is a way to identify the company of vehicles or their destination during the war.

See also  Russia invades Ukraine, Zelensky insists on sovereignty in talks

Where were it Seen?

Besides tanks and armoured vehicles, the markings were seen on trucks and amphibious rigs. Many Russian civilians and business owners are also reportedly putting “Z” on their cars.

It was first spotted in February, on Russian vehicles that entered the Donetsk region. However, some reports said that it had also appeared on vehicles in Crimea, when it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Nazi Marks?

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov draw the resemblance of the “Z marks” to the Nazi symbol. Reznikov recalled that there was a station Z near the concentration camp Sachsenhausen wherein mass killings took place in 1943. The Defence Minister shared an image that depicts a white coloured “Z” symbol painted on military vehicles.

“Occupiers with Nazi marks ”Z”, which the Russia use on their technique, is quite well known. At 1943 near the con camp Sachsenhausen was a station Z where mass murders were committed. It contained a special device for firing shots in the back, gas chamber. This is what it is-the Russian world,” he wrote on Twitter.

Russia’s love for Symbols

Last week, the Ukraine authorities have warned the citizens, to keeps eye for another mysterious symbol on buildings, that have been spotted on the rooftops of high rises and gas pipes in some cities. The authorities claim that these symbols could make them targets of the Russians.

Stating that this could be the work of “suspicious characters”, who are leaving clues for Russians, presumably for an airstrike, authorities have warned people against symbols that include a bright red X (X-marks-the-spot type) and arrows. Some reports claim that reflective tags have also been found all around Kyiv.

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