The Ukrainian war: What could the “Zs” inscribed on Russian vehicles mean

Most of the military vehicles used by Russia in the invasion of Ukraine had on them what appears to be the Latin letter “Z”. However, it does not exist in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Some defense experts believe that the tanks and other vehicles were marked with this letter – which could be an allusion to Z-Day (Allied landing in Normandy during World War II) – so that they could be more easily distinguished. in battle.

The Russian Federation and Ukraine were both part of the former Soviet Union, and the two states use similar weapons, Task & Purpose reports. Both countries have Su-27 fighter jets, for example, and the Ukrainian T-80 tank closely resembles the Russian T-72.

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The badges will not protect vehicles from high-speed planes, but will be useful in the vicinity of other Russian tanks, artillery pieces or mobile missile launchers.

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Tactics have been used before. During the invasion of Normandy, the Americans painted the planes with black and white stripes so as not to be targeted by Allied fire. During Operation Desert Storm, inverted “Vs” were painted on US tanks.

Another theory

Rob Lee, a former US Marines captain who spent a year in Moscow, does not believe the signs are used to prevent fratricide on the battlefield. According to him, in many cases they are too small to count.

He believes that this is something new, which most likely indicates a force that has a certain purpose.

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Lee says there are several versions of these Zs. In some cases the symbol is circled, and some vehicles have only a triangle drawn on them. The insignia were used, according to Lee, to guide the forces to the right place more easily before the assault began.

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