Two German states ban Russian ‘Z’ symbol – EURACTIV.com

The ‘Z’ symbol used by Russia in the war on Ukraine is banned by two of Germany’s federal states, and more may soon follow as calls to extend the ban to other regions mount.

Bavaria and Lower Saxony, two of Germany’s most populous regions, have banned the public use of the Russian symbol. Anyone displaying the symbol publicly or at protests can now face up to three years in prison or a fine.

The states claim that wearing or showing the symbol signals support for Russia’s war of aggression and therefore constitutes endorsement of criminal activity.

“We do not accept any endorsement of crimes that violate international law,” Bavarian Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich said.

The symbol is used to mark tanks and other equipment of the Russian army. He also appeared in Russian public spaces in support of Putin’s war.

Parliamentary groups from three other regions also called for the letter to be banned.

In both Baden-Württemberg and Saxony-Anhalt, the Social Democratic opposition has called on regional governments to ban the symbol. Meanwhile, in North Rhine-Westphalia, calls for a ban are coming from within the ranks of the ruling conservative party.

“The letter is a declaration of war on liberal democracy,” CDU parliamentary deputy leader Daniel Sieveke told the German Press Agency over the weekend. Sieveke compared the letter to other banned “unconstitutional symbols”.

Germany has strict laws prohibiting the use of a wide range of symbols associated with the Nazi regime.

James R. Rhodes