Latvia outlaws use of letter Z as symbol

23:00, Thursday, 31 March, 2022
Latvia outlaws use of letter Z as symbol

Latvia's parliament has voted to ban public displays of the letter "Z," saying it was a symbol that was used to glorify the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
     Russian military vehicles in Ukraine are prominently marked with the letter and it has started appearing on social media and on clothing elsewhere in support of the war.Latvia's parliament said the display of the letter with intent to justify military aggression and war crimes would be punished under the new rules with fines of up to 350 euros ($A518) for individuals and up to 2,900 euros for companies.
     Once it becomes law, the new legislation will also apply to the letter "V," also used by the Russian defence ministry in connection with the war.
     "Condemning Russia's hostilities in Ukraine, we must take a firm stand that symbols glorifying Russian military aggression, such as the letters 'Z', 'V' or other symbols used for this purpose, have no place in public events," said the chair of parliamentary Human Rights committee Artuss Kaimins.
     Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on what he calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine.
     Ukraine and its allies say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.
     Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday called for a universal ban of the political use of the letter "Z," saying it signified "Russian war crimes, bombed out cities, thousands of murdered Ukrainians".

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