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22nd Feb 2022

Mysterious “Z” appears on Russian tanks – and experts have no idea what they mean

Kieran Galpin


To make things even more mysterious, the letter Z doesn’t exist in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet

Mysterious symbols that seemingly incorporate the letter Z have appeared on Russian tanks – and experts have no idea what they mean.

Amid continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine, who are reportedly planning the “biggest war since 1945”, images and videos of Russian vehicles have popped up across social media. While this should come as no surprise, a symbols printed on these vehicles has left experts puzzled.

Investigative reporter Aric Toler, from the Netherlands-based investigative journalism group Bellingcat, described the symbol as a “white square with a Z over the top.” The symbol has appeared across Russian tanks, weapons, supply vehicles and fuel trucks around the border. Tolder said his agency had “been monitoring this stuff non-stop for eight years” and had not seen the symbol before.

“So, assume the worst, I guess/fear,” he added.

The prevailing theory is a call back to previous wars, with a military insider based in Kyiv having told the Sun: “It’s vital that any attacking force can be distinguished, particularly from the air where Russian forces will have complete control.”

David Kime, a former soldier, police officer and field intelligence officer, says mercenaries from a Russian paramilitary organisation told him it stands for “Zelensky”, the current President of Ukraine. Kime also suggested that the “Z” stands for the “point of no return.”

Another theory suggests that the “Z” indicates specific squads of soldiers with specific duties should open conflict break out.

Read more: Has Russia invaded Ukraine and will it lead to World War Three?

If the letter’s employment could not get any more ominous, the letter “Z” does not exist in the Russian alphabet.

Ultimately however, with no conclusive evidence, the west really has no idea what this “Z” symbol means.

This comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS the US was convinced Moscow was determined to invade.

“Everything we’re seeing tells us that the decision we believe President Putin has made to invade is moving forward,” he said.

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