Letter Z

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The Letter Z in Government Words

Use lower case except for words that begin a title, such as the Green Deal programme or the Knowledge and Innovation Group.

Government agencies should show Gen Z how their work creates positive change in their communities to attract altruistic recruits. This could include showing trees planted, attendance at community events, and housing square footage.

The letter “Z” has become a symbol of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine

From a military marking on Russian tanks to a popular symbol of support for the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, the letter “Z” has become all but ubiquitous since Russia’s invasion. It has been seen sprayed on the sides of cars and vans, painted on Soviet-era apartment blocks and even on street advertisement signs. It has been sported by politicians and emblazoned on t-shirts, and flashmobs in support of Russian troops have taken place all over the country.

But what does it mean? The symbol’s sudden emergence suggests that it has been cultivated by the authorities in order to rally support for their invasion and create the impression that a majority of Russians are behind it. “This is clearly a state-organized propaganda campaign,” Henry E. Hale, an expert in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine politics at George Washington University, told VOA.

The Russian defense ministry posted an Instagram video that suggested the Z stood for Za pobedu, or “for victory,” while some experts have speculated that it could stand for areas where Russian forces are typically stationed, such as Zapad (west). Regardless, the use of the symbol has a chilling effect, particularly for those who oppose Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

It has been sprayed on the doors of apartments, car windshields and other public spaces, causing anxiety for many who oppose Putin’s war in Ukraine. In a Facebook post, Anton Dolin, a film critic who recently left Russia, said he had received two spray-painted “Z”s on his apartment’s door and car, an apparent effort to intimidate him. Other critics have complained of being the target of similar harassment. For example, on Monday, Russian independent lawmaker Khelga Pirogova was fined 30,000 rubles ($2,800 U.S.) for displaying Ukrainian folk motifs at a local legislature session in Siberian Novosibirsk. A Moscow police spokesman said the violation was for “extremist” or “colonialist” propaganda, according to the independent media website Meduza.

The letter “Z” is a symbol of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine

A few weeks ago, a curious symbol began appearing on the thousands of tanks, communications trucks and rocket launchers that have been mustering along Russia’s border with Ukraine. The distinctive white marking, which is not in the Cyrillic alphabet, attracted worldwide attention. Digital sleuths speculated that it might stand for “Za pobedy,” Russian for “for victory” or “Zapad,” Russian for “West.”

The symbol quickly spread on social media, and was even incorporated into a Kremlin propaganda video. It has also started popping up on the backs of cars, at pro-Kremlin rallies and on billboards. Even a talk show pundit has appeared wearing a T-shirt bearing a large Z.

But it is no mere coincidence that the letter has become a key symbol of support for Russia’s invasion, experts say. It is part of an official campaign to sway public opinion behind the war and promote Putin’s regime.

“This is a deliberate effort to rebrand the invasion, and make it seem more legitimate to Russians,” said Aglaya Snetkov, a lecturer in international politics at University College London in the U.K. The use of the Z symbol has been carefully co-ordinated with Russia’s state-run media, she adds.

Its spread has been accompanied by a wave of hysterical anti-Ukrainian rhetoric from the government and its supporters, says Emily Ferris, a researcher specialising in post-Soviet politics at the Royal United Services Institute. Those who disagree with the government’s policies are often slandered as national traitors, she says.

One such incident occurred on Monday in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. A meeting of the city council was disrupted when an opposition leader called for Pirogova to be sacked. The governing coalition member then launched into a diatribe against her and other critics of the war, accusing them of being neo-Nazis and fascists. The meeting was suspended for several hours. Pirogova later received a summons to appear at a criminal investigation department hearing.

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