Germany, others cancel the letter “Z” in support of Ukraine; use of symbol criminalized
04/06/2022 // Mary Villareal // Views

German federal states are now taking action against Russian President Vladimir Putin's "Z" symbol, effectively banning its use. Anyone who is found displaying the symbol in Germany can be imprisoned for up to three years, as the "Z" is considered a sign of approval for the war that Russia waged on Ukraine.

Lower Saxony and Bavaria ordered that public use of the symbol is punishable by a monetary fine and up to three years in prison. Meanwhile, North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin are following suit and threatening legal consequences.

Interior Minister Boris Pistorius announced that those who use the "Z" symbol to publicly express their approval of Russia's aggression must expect criminal consequences in Lower Saxony, adding that it is "absolutely incomprehensible" how the stylized "Z" can be used to condone crimes.

Bavaria's Minister of Justice Georg Eisenreich also warned that sympathizers who will publicly use the mark of the Russian armed forces in Bavaria could be held liable to prosecution for approving such criminal offenses.

Behavior that is understood to be a public display of approval of aggressive wars and likely to disturb public peace is punishable. Eisenreich said public support of Russia's attacks also violates the International Criminal Code, which deals with "crimes of aggression."

"We do not accept crimes that violate international law being approved," he said.

Letter "Z" meaning still unknown

The letter "Z" appeared a few weeks ago on Russian tanks that have advanced towards Ukraine, with the Russian Defense Military stating that the "Z" stood for "za pobedu," or "for victory." (Related: Anti-Russia xenophobia "could cause mass poverty in Germany," warns government official.)


The Latin letter appeared in many public spaces in Russia, and because it does not exist in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, it is notably recognized as a symbol. The sign itself is being shown outside the war zone to express pro-Russia sentiments, with the letter printed onto shirts, posters and even cars.

Russian gymnast, Ivan Kuliak, displayed a white "Z" symbol on his uniform in place of the Russian flag, while standing on the podium alongside a Ukrainian athlete after finishing third in the parallel bars final of the Apparatus World Cup in Qatar.

Still, the meaning behind the "Z" remains unclear. Experts suggest the symbol was first used as a unit identification marking to avoid friendly fire between Russians. Others say it could be the first letter of the word "zapad," which means "west," and may be the direction of troop movement. Still, others believe it to be a nod to the globalist-backed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose name is transliterated with a Z in many languages.

The origins of the letter "Z" may not be known, but its symbolism is clear: It represents support for Russia's war with Ukraine, both at home and abroad.

As for Germany, its Penal Code prohibits the public approval of aggressive wars.

Germany is not the only western nation to threaten its citizens with prison time for displaying such support. In February, the Czech Republic also threatened its citizens with three years in prison for voicing their support of Russia.

Latvia's parliament voted to ban public displays of the letter "Z," saying that it was a symbol being used to glorify the Russian invasion. The country's parliament said the display of the letter with intent to justify military aggression and war crimes would be punished under the new rules with fines of up to 350 euros ($381.5) for individuals and up to 2,900 euros ($3,160.8) for companies.

However, in their desire to appeal against the war, leaders of countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic and Latvia unwittingly followed in Putin's footsteps. By criticizing Russia for denying its citizens their rights, these countries are also effectively stripping theirs of freedom of speech.

Follow for more updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and how it's affecting the rest of the world.

Watch the video below for more information about how countries are "canceling" the letter "Z."

This video is from The Prisoner channel on

More related stories:

Ukraine's Zelensky calls on Germany, Europe to halt all trade with Russia as war threatens to widen again.

Ukraine declares journalist a 'Russian terrorist' as her reporting undermines Western narratives (Video).

The crisis in Ukraine is not about Ukraine. It's about Germany.

Western powers warned of global collapse if they interfere with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

While US STILL occupies Iraq going on 20 years, we're condemning Russia for invading Ukraine.

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