Russian military symbol “Z” is not related to Orthodox Christianity

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The letter “Z” has absolutely nothing to do with the symbols of the Orthodox religion, nor with the Holy Trinity. Such a theory has never been publicly shared, nor has anyone from the Russian side ever shared it as a true theory. In addition, it is inaccurate to claim that “Z” is an ancient Orthodox symbol. There is no data asserting that this letter Latin letter has any kind of meaning in Orthodox Christianity. According to the explanation of the Russian Defence Ministry, published on its Instagram channel after a series of speculations, “Z” stands “For victory”, while “V” stands for the “Power of the truth” 



A post on the social network Facebook falsely claims that the mark “Z” of Russian troops fighting in the war in Ukraine is a Christian symbol. 

What does the emblem and mark “Z”, proudly presented by the Russian fighters mean? 

“Z” is an ancient Orthodox symbol; a very important one for the Slav people because it provides protection from dark forces. 

The upper line of the letter “Z” represents the Sky and God. 

The lower line: the Earth and the Son. 

Diagonal: the Holy Spirit that merges and closes the space between the sky and the earth, thereby preventing the penetration of evil. 

This antic symbol is the oldest Slav prayer practiced today in the form of: ”In the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, Amin”. 

That’s why they hate it and want to get rid of it”. 

RUSSIA+MACEDONIA, specifies the post. 

More than two years have passed since Russia initiated its military aggression in Ukraine, which is an independent and sovereign country. As the Russian invasion started, military equipment with the symbol “Z” engraved could be noted along with other letters including O, X, A, and V. The letters visible on the hardware were usually framed with squares, triangles, or other colored forms. The symbol “Z” was initially observed on Russian tanks and other military vehicles, but it was soon accepted beyond the war zone as a sign of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This letter “З” in the Latin alphabet, was observed in Russia on people’s vehicles, sprayed on buildings, printed on t-shirts sold in souvenir shops in Russian cities, and even on social networks from war supporters. Very quickly this letter became a unique and terrifying symbol of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Analysts and military experts were the first to spot this mysterious letter in the form of Z, hand-written on Russian tanks and military trucks parked on the Ukrainian border on the 19th of February 2022, and that incited many speculations about the meaning of the letter among Western experts. 

But what does this letter stand for?

Once it became clear that it was used frequently, experts started asking themselves and analyzing what it stood for. None of the theories include the subject of this fact-check as mentioned in the post of the social network Facebook. The letter “Z” is not related in any way to the symbols of the Orthodox religion, nor with the Holy Trinity. Such a theory has never been shared publicly, nor has anyone on the Russian side ever shared it as truthful. In addition, claiming that “Z” is an ancient Orthodox Christian symbol is incorrect. No data shows that in Orthodox Christianity such as letters – in the Latin alphabet – hold any significance. 

According to military experts, the most popular theory related to the letter “Z” is that the letters are written following the respective areas where the Russian troops are stationed, thereby “Z” potentially meaning “West”. 

Others believe that the letters were inscribed in an attempt to avoid enemy fire, while some Russian military pro-Kremlin experts speculate that the letter “Z” signifies the name of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as the letter “V” stands for Vladimir Putin. 

The most probable theory about the letter was provided by the Russian Defence Ministry. Instead of commenting on any of the theories, and after a series of speculations, the Defence Ministry published on its Instagram channel that “Z” stood “For Victory”, while “V” for the “power of the truth”. 

Other posts by the Russian Defence Ministry use phrases such as “for peace”, and “for the truth”, and they all start with the same mark “З”. Others use “З” in the middle of the words “demilitarization” and “denazification” – some of the reasons the Russian President listed as justification for the invasion of Ukraine. 

The letter “З” written in the Latin alphabet – “Z” – has nothing to do with the Orthodox religion. It has no religious meaning, nor is it related to the Holy Trinity. Hence, this post is assessed as untrue.