Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a special operation in Ukraine, which he said is aimed at “denazifying and demilitarising” Kiev, as well as protecting the residents of two breakaway regions, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Since pictures and videos of Russian equipment in the Donbass region appeared online, many netizens have been puzzled about the meaning of letters seen on Russia’s military hardware. The Russian Defence Ministry has since posted a statement on social media explaining what the enigmatic letters mean.
Z is “for victory”, V means “strength in truth” and “the task will be completed”.
What the letter O stands for has not yet been specified although several outlets previously speculated that this is how military equipment from Belarus is designated. The ministry did not explain the meaning of the letters X and A either. Earlier, it was reported that the residents of some Russian regions had started painting the letter Z on their vehicles in support of the special operation in Ukraine.The operation was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 24 February and according to the Russian head of state is aimed at protecting the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which announced their independence from Kiev in 2014. LPR and DPR requested help from Moscow after Kiev escalated attacks on the republics. Amid the standoff, the LPR and DPR ordered the evacuation of the civilian population to Russia.
President Putin also said that the special operation is aimed at “denazifying and demilitarising” Ukraine.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Putin’s statement about Nazis being present in Ukraine and described the special operation as a “full-scale invasion”. Western nations sided with Kiev, condemning Russia’s actions and imposing the harshest sanctions on Moscow to date. The Kremlin has accused the West of turning a blind eye to war crimes committed by Kiev in Donbass.