May 23, 2022

Alphabet Bans


Alphabet Bans
Russian BM-21 "Grad" artillery, sporting the iconic "Z." Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

In a turn that seems at once bizarre and overdue, the Ukrainian parliament moved Sunday to ratify a bill put forth by President Zelensky to ban Russian symbols used in the invasion of Ukraine; namely, the Latin letters "Z" and "V."

Bill No. 7214 outlaws the use of these two letters, as well as their Cyrillic equivalents, on social media, on clothing, in public, and in advertisements. The bill also denounces Russia as a "terrorist state" and categorizes all Russian information on the course of the war as propaganda.

The "Z" and "V" symbols first appeared on Russian military vehicles in February 2022, as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Neither letter is used in either the Russian or Ukrainian Cyrillic alphabet, and their use on tanks, transports, and helicopters has been both pronounced and strange.

Analysts believe that the markings were applied to distinguish Russian from Ukrainian equipment, as both countries use Soviet-era vehicles.

Since the start of the invasion, "Z" and "V" have become symbols of support for Russian actions, and have therefore drawn ire from those sympathetic to Ukraine. Ukraine's move is similar to earlier legislation to outlaw positive uses of Soviet and Nazi imagery.

You Might Also Like

Is This the Plan?
  • April 07, 2022

Is This the Plan?

Putin says things are going according to plan in Ukraine. What if he's right?
Zelensky Returns
  • May 09, 2022

Zelensky Returns

After six weeks away, Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky made an appearance at Kiev's parliament.
The
  • March 10, 2022

The "Z" Symbol

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak faces punishment for flaunting the new "Z" symbol in support of the Russian invasion on Ukraine. 
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955