The letter Z is Russia's main symbol for its war against Ukraine. Photo: promo video by Murmansk Governor Chibis

The Nazi-inspired symbol used by Russia in war against Ukraine finds way to downtown Murmansk

In a campaign supported by the regional governor, pictures of the letter Z painted in nationalist orange and black colors are handed out to locals in the far northern Russian region.
March 07, 2022


You have seen it on the tanks and armored vehicles that are attacking Ukrainian towns and settlements. And in propaganda materials distributed by the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Now you can find it also in the streets of Russian towns and cities.

This weekend, government-supported campaigners lined up in downtown Murmansk where they handed out leaflets and stickers with the imprint “Z” to locals. Some of them subsequently put the stickers on their car windows, a film clip shared by Governor Andrei Chibis shows.

Similar campaigns are now held across Russia.

“Thank you for your personal involvement!” the governor writes on his Telegram channel. He argues that the campaign is aimed at promoting peace.

However, the Z is first of all a symbol of war. Over the last weeks, it has become associated with the massive military force that has assaulted the neighboring country.

It also bears a clear resemblance with a swastika.


In his speeches delivered in connection with the attack, President Putin argued that Ukraine is ruled by Fascists and Nazis and that the Russian forces now intend to “de-nazificate” the country.

Propaganda materials by the Russian Ministry of Defense

However, across the world it is rather Putin that is seen as a fascist, and his attack on Ukraine is by many compared to Hitler’s invasion of neighboring states in the late 1930s.

The Z can be seen as a half part of the Nazi swastika.


According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Z stands for “za pobedy” (for victory), as well as “za mir” (for peace), “za nashikh” (for our people), and more.

It has caused confusion among many Russians. The Z is a Latin and not Cyrillic letter.

The letter is now used to raise patriotism among Russians. Several political leaders are actively promoting the symbol.

Propaganda materials from the Russian Ministry of Defense

This weekend, former deputy prime minister, now head of Russia’s Space Agency, Dmitry Rogozin changed the name of his Telegram channel to RogoZin and reportedly, the leader of the region Kuzbass is now referring to his region as KuZbass, with the Latin Z.

In addition to the Z, the Russian Armed Forces are actively using also the Latin letter V. According to its propaganda materials, the V stands for “Velichie” (greatness), “Vpered” (forward), “Vprave” (to be right) and more.

It is also a symbol of victory.





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