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19th Apr 2022

Lithuania bans using letter ‘Z’ as show of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine

Danny Jones

Lithuania bans Z symbols

The military marking has quickly become a problematic political symbol

More nations are answering Ukraine‘s pleas to reject recent Russian iconography as Lithuania bans ‘Z’ symbols from being displayed in public around the country.

The Russian ‘Z’ has become a nationalist emblem behind which those in support of the ongoing invasion have rallied – and after reports that the symbol could be made illegal in Germany, the Lithuanian parliament announced on Tuesday that displays would no longer be allowed.

The ‘Z’s – first denoted alongside ‘V’ symbols as a direction of attack on vehicles invading Ukraine – as well as the black and orange ribbon of St George (a patron saint and mark of military decoration in Russia) and any other symbols seen as expressing support for the Russian invasion are now said to be outlawed, joining the likes of Swastikas and Soviet symbols.

Besides the ‘Z’s themselves, the St George Cross became a popular separatist symbol since the annexation of Ukraine in 2014 and on Monday, protests were sparked in Moldova after the government banned this marking along with other Soviet symbols.

As per lawmakers, the punishment for those found to be showing support in this way will be in the form of a fine: €900 (approx. £750) per individual and up to €1,500 (£1.2k) for companies and organisations, according to Reuters.

While Lithuania, Moldova and potentially Germany are leading the way in banning what are now considered pro-Putin sentiments, few are yet to denounce them.

According to President Zelenskyy, the Battle of Donbas, said to be Russia’s biggest offensive yet, has already begun and the country braces for a full-on assault.

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