Russian Tanks Seen Marked With Mysterious 'Z' Symbol And Experts Have No idea What They Mean
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Footage showing Russian tanks marked with a mysterious ‘Z’ symbol have gone viral on social media, as experts question what they could mean.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is thought to have begun this morning, as it was revealed that President Putin had sent troops into ‘breakaway eastern regions in Ukraine’.
Videos and images of Russian tanks, supply vehicles and rocket launchers have since gone viral on social media, with many clips showing a ‘Z’ inside a large square marked on the vehicles.
Investigative journalist, Aric Toler, was among the first to report on the phenomenon, as he took to Twitter to say his agency had ‘been monitoring this stuff non-stop for eight years’ but had not yet seen a symbol like this.
"So, assume the worst, I guess/fear," he added on Twitter.
Experts are now speculating what the mysterious symbols could mean.
A military source based in Kyiv told The Sun yesterday: “It would suggest final preparations are complete.
“It’s vital that any attacking force can be distinguished, particularly from the air where Russian forces will have complete control.
“The Ukrainians have very similar tanks and vehicles and will want to reduce the risk of friendly fire.”
However, other theories have also gained some traction.
David Kime, a former soldier, police officer and field intelligence officer was supposedly told by mercenaries from a Russian paramilitary organisation that the ‘Z’ stands for ‘Zelensky’ - the name of the current President of Ukraine.
Kime also suggests the ‘Z’ stands for the ‘point of no return’, as per the International Business Times.
Russian defence policy expert, Rob Lee, gave his expert opinion on Twitter, as he said: “It appears Russian forces near the border are painting markers, in this case ‘Z’, on vehicles to identify different task forces or echelons.”
Ultimately, all theories continue to be just that – theories, as there has been no conclusive evidence of what the ‘Z’ means.
Earlier today, Sajid Javid spoke to Sky News about the news of Russia’s invasion, saying: "We are waking up to a very dark day in Europe and it's clear from what we have already seen and found out today that the Russians, President Putin, has decided to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.
"We have seen that he has recognised these breakaway eastern regions in Ukraine and from the reports we can already tell that he has sent in tanks and troops.
"From that you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun."