Russian Z Tagged Military Symbol on a scooby doo looking van.

Russian Z Military Symbol

Part of a series on 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 17, 2022 at 12:10PM EDT by Zach.

Added Mar 04, 2022 at 03:06PM EST by Brandon.

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Russian Z Military Symbol refers to military vehicles, such as tanks, APCs or vans, that are painted on Russian equipment as part of the 2022 Ukraine invasion. Seen in several viral videos, images and news coverage of the conflict, Russian forces are identified by the large, white-painted "Z" plastered on them. Memes relating to the vans and tanks adorned with the symbol became a viral topic due to the bootleg military aesthetic from a country that many assumed was high-tier.


On February 22nd, 2022, the Ukraine invasion began as Russian military vehicles and troops began to pour into the country, with footage of them being shown online in various images or videos. Twitter[1] user IgorGirkin tweeted a video of a Russian convoy with a Z inside of a triangle being seen on several of the vehicles (shown below).

According to a breakdown posted on March 7th, 2022, by Redditor vulpecula360 on the /r/OutOfTheLoop[5] subreddit, Russia paints the symbols on their vehicles to designate which region they belong to, with the "Z" designating "Zapad" or "West" in Russian (breakdown seen below).

O = Belarussian Forces
Z = Zapad Belgorod Forces
V = Vostok East Forces / RUS Marines
Z in a square = Crimean forces
X = Ramzan Kadyrov's forces
A = Russian SF


On February 25th, 2022, a 4chan user posted about a van[2] with the white Z painted on it, calling it "Scooby-Doo shit" and saying that Russia was overestimated in its military might (shown below).

: Anonymous (ID: FUFqqcT1 We overestimated Russia 02/25/22(Fri)20:17:53 No.363392317 russianmilitary.jpg 29 KB JPG I thought they had a decent military? This is so scooby doo s--- here. If this was what my country gave me to assault another country I would straight up desert. in

On February 27th, 2022, Twitter[3] user ec_outdated tweeted a meme image trying to show that Sam Hyde was the driver of the viral Russian Z van, which was part of a meme trend with Sam Hyde being photoshopped in various military vehicles on both sides of the conflict (shown below).

On March 1st, 2022, Twitter[4] user @mtimofiv posted a diagram found in a Telegram group that attempts to explain why some military vehicles have a Z, a Z inside of a square and other variations, with the rough text estimate being (shown below):

"Z – Westlicher Militärbezirk
V – Östlicher Militärbezirk
Δ – Südlicher Militärbezirk
/ – Zentraler Militärbezirk
V – Ausrüstung kam aus Weißrussland
Z – Ausrüstung kam aus Russland"

ЗАПАМ'ЯТАЙТЕ ЦІ ПОЗНАЧКИ Східні сили РФ Сили РФ з Криму Сили з Білорусі Морська піхота Чеченці Сили спецпризначення (СОБР, АЛЬФА,ССО) Рoсійські гелікоптери сірого кольору. Тим часом українські гелікоптери піксельні, зелені чи блакитні

Various Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – IgorGirkin

[2] 4chan – Z Van

[3] Twitter – Sam Hyde

[4] Twitter – Z Explanations

[5] Reddit – r/OutOfTheLoop

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Recent Images 38 total

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