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The letter Z has come to represent Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. But what exactly does this mean?

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            Messages with the letter “Z” have proliferated rapidly on social media in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The letter has lately appeared on billboards in Russian cities. Stickers have begun to emerge on automobiles and commercial vehicles. In apparent support of the escalating violence, Russia’s state-owned RT is selling T-shirts on its website.

However, the symbol’s origins are unknown.

The letter “Z” was observed painted on tanks and other military vehicles before to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some suggest that the sign represents the Russian word “zapad”, which means “west”. Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish, and Russia has justified its invasion by claiming that it is defending its people from Nazis. Another message claims that “we are accountable for the world/peace”.

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