What Do The Z Symbols On Russian Tanks Mean?

Many images are being broadcast of Russian army vehicles heading towards Ukraine, and a particular symbol that can be seen on many of the tanks has drawn attention.

A letter ‘Z’ is displayed on tanks, trucks and other army vehicles, which at times appears framed within rectangles and even triangles.

The symbol was placed in a triangle on some trucks, while others had the symbol within a square.

One of the hypotheses is that they serve to avoid ‘friendly fire’ between other Russian combat vehicles, as the Russian and Ukrainian tanks are of the same model.

It is also speculated that they may be the places where the units are destined.

“Often these symbols will be location-based – they will communicate where the unit is going,” Michael Clarke, former director of defence of the think tank RUSI, told Sky news.

“They are probably signals that tell which units are heading to the northeast or northwest of a district, for example.”

It should be remembered that these secret symbols are very typical in military conflicts. Back in the day, the United States used a chevron to indicate the different battalions during the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Ruslan Leviev from the Conflict Intelligence Team explained on his Twitter account that the theory that has gained the most strength for him is that the tanks of both sides are very similar since they both have the same origin. Therefore, this “Z” would greatly help planes when it comes to identifying allies and enemies in a possible bombardment.

“Some believe this is a signal to their own aircraft, so theirs don’t get bombed, but we see a lot of vehicle movement every day, and this ‘Z’ is very rare,” he explained.

Russia could have used the letter “R” on their vehicle, but it’s a coincidence that Z is the first letter of the Ukrainian President’s surname “Zelenskyy” and Vladimir Putin’s aimed to remove Zelenskyy from power.

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