Russia on Tuesday launched a Soyuz rocket, which featured the letter “Z” in support of the military operation in Ukraine. The rocket was carrying the Meridian M communications satellite and was launched from the Plesetsk spaceport in Russia’s far north, which is operated exclusively by the Defence Ministry.
The letter in white, stylised in thick brushstroke, has been painted on Russian tanks and other military vehicles attacking Ukrainian cities.
The images of these vehicles have surfaced on social media. They also show Russian supporters wearing the “Z” symbol on t-shirts too.
But this is not the only symbol of support. There have been many such alphabets, which have been used across the world by protesters.
Q as symbol: This was used during the 2021 elections in the United States. After the results were declared, supporters of Donald Trump laid siege to the Capitol Hill, carrying placards with the letter Q – in support of far-right politics and the QAnon movement.
The New York Times reported that the “Q” symbol represented a high-ranking government official with access to classified information that as shared with QAnon supporters.
The V symbol: This is yet another letter used widely during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many experts have said that it stands for victory for Russia.
But according to The Scotsman, “V” is closely aligned with Russian phrased which mean “power of truth” and “task will be completed”.
In Ukraine, the emoji of the country’s flag became a powerful symbol on social media. Some of the Ukrainians have also used the phrase used by soldiers defending the Snake Island: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself”.
The peace sign: According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the modern peace sign was designed by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958. It has been used by many protesters across the globe.
It comprises of a vertical line and two downward lines enclosed in a circle.
Other symbols: In 2013, penguins became the symbol of anti-government protesters in Turkey’s Istanbul. When violent clashes between police and protesters first broke out, all the national TV channels chose not to cover them.