May 26, 2022

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War in Ukraine: What do the big “Zs” on Russian military armor signify?

From the beginning Russian invasion of UkraineThe Last February 24, Many Internet users wonder about the large “Z” written in white on Vladimir Putin’s army armored vehicles. The existence of an emblem is still a mystery, as no official explanation has been given by Russian authorities for the use of this symbol to represent a portion of military equipment used in Ukraine, and Z is not the Cyrillic alphabet.

Everyone goes there from their hypothesis. Some first thought of Volodymyr Zhelensky’s Z – President of Ukraine – or “Zapat” which means “West” in the Slavic language. But for many observers and security professionals, the use of this logo will be for strategic and authentication purposes above all else.

“It is very important to distinguish any offensive force, especially from the air that Russian forces have full control over today,” a military source told the British Daily. The sun. “Ukrainians have very similar tanks and vehicles, they want to reduce the risk of friendly fire,” the same source said.

Geographical purpose of Russian units

Rob Lee, an American expert on Russian defense policy, estimated in a tweet that Russian forces were wearing “Z” to identify various intervention groups. A reliable hypothesis is that the letter is not the only symbol displayed on Russian military armor. In some regions, the tanks launched by Vladimir Putin are marked “V” and “Os”.

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“Often these symbols are based on location and indicate the geographical purpose of each unit. If they only serve to distinguish Russian vehicles from others, it is sufficient to use only one logo,” said Michael Clarke, former director of the British Defense Think Tank RUSI. Celestial message. “They are like signs pointing in directions taken by various war units on the ground,” he added.

Kremlin Communication Tool

But various letters have also become a means of communication for the Kremlin. Since March 2, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has been publishing military propaganda footage with Russian text using the letters “Z”, “V” or “O”. In one of them, for example, we read the message “for success” in Russian.

This Tuesday, to pick up Vladimir Putin’s revisionist speech – Russia is fighting again on Thursday against the “neo-Nazis” and the “Russian-speaking Donbass people” against the Ukrainian “bandits”. Government – Two new footage has been released in English by the Ministry of Defense. Of these, “Z” is currently valued for “DenaZification” and “Demilitariization”.