Ukraine Tells World to Cancel the Letter “Z” — Germans Displaying It May Be Jailed 3 Years

The government in Kyiv is asking the entire world to criminalize the usage of “Z.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Tuesday: “I call on all states to criminalize the use of the ‘Z’ symbol as a way to publicly support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

“‘Z’ means Russian war crimes, bombed out cities, thousands of murdered Ukrainians. Public support of this barbarism must be forbidden.”

Meanwhile, public displays of the letter “Z” have been outlawed in two German states, after authorities in Bavaria and Lower Saxony announced over the weekend that anyone who displays the letter – which has become synonymous with support for Russia’s war in Ukraine – will be subject to a fine or three years in jail.


“The Russian war of aggression on the Ukraine is a criminal act, and whoever publicly approves of this war of aggression can also make himself liable to prosecution,” said an Interior Ministry spokesperson in a Monday press statement.

The letter became a hot-button issue after tanks amassed at the Ukrainian border displayed it – possibly to distinguish them from Ukraine’s tanks.

Chapter 140 of Germany’s criminal code recognizes “incitement to crime of aggression” as an offense, according to Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform. The Local reports that there have been displays of “Z” in both Lower Saxony and Bavaria. -NPR

Zurich Insurance Group has already dropped its erstwhile logo, which had prominently featured the first letter of their name.

The cancelation of the letter “Z” may only have a disruptive effect on Anglo-Saxons though, because “Z” is not used by the Russians — it is not one of the letters in their Cyrillic alphabet.