The mystery of the “Z” sign on the equipment that storms Ukraine

A couple of days ago, on social networks, eyewitnesses to the advance of Russian troops in the areas bordering Ukraine willingly shared information about special and clearly visible markings on military equipment.

For example, on February 22 blogger Michalina posted a video in which moving T-72 tanks have a “Z” symbol inside a white square.

It is noteworthy that the signs were drawn by hand. Therefore, at the moment, the order to apply them to the armor was received unexpectedly, which further provokes interest among readers in their appointment.

Of course, a lot of conflicting information is now appearing on the net. And this is understandable: any action of this magnitude is accompanied by a huge stream of fakes, which not only have the right to exist, but are absolutely reliable.

For this reason, even photos and videos cannot serve as evidence. As for who “throws” them into the net, everything depends on who “throws” them. At the moment, there are many different sources, both Ukrainian and Russian, that report a mysterious “Z” inside a white square.

The appearance of special signs on tanks, mobile artillery, rocket launchers, supply vehicles and fuel trucks during large military operations always causes speculative rumors in the media. In pursuit of clickbait, they are capable of carrying any gag, as long as it is readable. Of course, the fantasies of bloggers who only think about catching the hype on something incomprehensible add fuel to the fire.

A user with the nickname @@Vasylchenko writes: “Most of the “Z” designations that we have seen so far have been inside a square, but this Ural truck with a Msta-B howitzer (he provides a photo) is inside a triangle. Perhaps this indicates different target groups within a larger formation or echelon.

Also, social networks write about white triangles and circles applied to self-propelled guns. So forum member @Idzanagi4 claims to have seen a red triangle on the T-90 tank. In his opinion, we can talk about an alleged insignia for the most elite units. After all, it’s red…

Some observers believe that such a point of view has a right to exist and can even be accepted for discussion, but, nevertheless, it is not true in absolutely all cases. The military in the world, including Russian, use temporary symbols that are difficult to explain. In order not to doubt this assumption, it could be assumed that Z is belonging to the “West” group in the latest Russian-Belarusian exercises “Allied Resolve-2022”.

However, on February 24, at about 1 pm, a webcam on the road towards Tavriysk, near the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station (70 km from the border deep into Ukraine), recorded the movement of a column of military armored vehicles, also with the symbols “Z” on the armor. Such information gave rise to new versions, which led to confusion.

What is interesting: the Russian “sofa troops” refer to NATO experts, who, in turn, take at face value what they already write on our telegram channels. Say, for what we bought, for that we will sell.

So an American military analyst Thomas Newdyk tells its reader: “There have already been some other hypotheses about what these various markings might actually mean. According to one account on the Russian social network Telegram, “Z” is used on vehicles heading towards Kharkiv, the triangle is used for units heading towards Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, while the circle is used for those who belong to the mobile reserve.”

But what about photographs of military equipment, on which there are two or even three symbols at once, for example, “Z” was drawn on the doors of KrAZ trucks carrying pontoon links, and “Z” and a white triangle were painted on the pontoons themselves .

If we talk about popular versions, then the Russian Internet people willingly believe that the “Z” inside the white square is the ultimate goal of forcing Ukraine to peace. That is, Zelensky (Z) will be sent to prison (square) for unleashing a massacre in the Donbass.

NATO officers, in turn, believe that in the war in Ukraine there are “regional” IFF identifications (friend or foe), applied and updated depending on the combat zones in which the units involved in the war are located. They are mainly determined by theater commanders.

And taking into account the fact that Russia and Ukraine often use the same military equipment, it is simply impossible to do without simple and understandable symbols for marking “friend or foe”. But this does not negate the hidden meaning that signs can carry on military vehicles of the RF Armed Forces.

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