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Pro-war “Z” symbol has been seen across Russia – but what does it mean?

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Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, a little-known symbol has gradually creeped into Russia’s arsenal of propaganda tools

The Latin letter ‘Z’ was first seen smeared on Russian military vehicles as they entered Ukrainian territory.

Analysts initially believed the symbol was being used to distinguish between forces and to indicate what district tanks were coming from, but it has since been seen in many other instances.

Increasingly, ‘Z’ is becoming a pro-war symbol – one that shows support for the military, for the Kremlin’s policies, and for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The letter has historically had mythical associations but has quickly morphed into what some are calling, a stylised semi-swastika.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has explained the symbol to stand ‘For Victory’.

Moscow’s concert in Luzhniki stadium displayed wide support for Z and the Kremlin

During a concert in Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, Putin appeared in front of a podium that read, “For a world without Nazism”.

He addressed Kremlin’s forces saying “shoulder to shoulder, they help and support each other”, praising Russians for the “unity” within the country.

“There is no greater love than giving up one’s soul for one’s friends,” Mr Putin says.

The concert marked the eight anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, showcasing dozens of Russian singers and celebrities.

Over 200,000 people attended the event with videos showing the crowd chanting “Russia!” while waving the country’s flag. 

Multiple Telegram channels have reported that some students and employees in attendance were pressured by their employers to attend the concert, although this has not been independently verified.

BBC journalist Will Vernon interviewed attendees after the concert finished and says many seemed embarrassed to be there.

Russian barred from calling the invasion a ‘war’

The Kremlin has since banned Russians from calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a war, instead labelling it a “special operation”.

Russia’s English state-owned channel, RT, has officially been calling the war in Ukraine “Special Operation Z” and advertising t-shirts with the Z symbol.

One online shop based in Russia has been selling a myriad of products displaying the Z logo, including window stickers for cars.

Many within Russia and abroad have condemned the symbol, which they see as a fascistic emblem of state-mandated blind loyalty and a militarised society.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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OpenAI terminates AI risk protection team

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Less than a year after its inception, OpenAI has made the decision to dissolve its team dedicated to researching long-term risks associated with AI.

The team, formed with the intention of studying and mitigating potential risks stemming from advanced AI systems, was a notable part of OpenAI’s broader mission to ensure that AI is developed and used responsibly.

Dr Karen Sutherland from University of the Sunshine Coast #featured

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What are the biggest takeaways from the Second global AI summit?

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Top executives from leading tech companies committed to prioritising safety in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence technologies at the Second Global AI Summit.

During the summit, representatives from major corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM outlined specific measures they will take to ensure that AI systems are developed and deployed responsibly.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss. #featured #trending

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Microsoft reporting for duty with top tier title

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Major Gamepass addition are on the way, with Call of Duty: Black Ops title.

Reports suggest this as the largest addition to the service since its launch, indicating a strategic effort to boost subscription numbers in a challenging market. The decision, likely to be officially announced during the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase on June 9, reflects a shift in the gaming landscape and Microsoft’s commitment to Game Pass. Despite potential drawbacks such as upsetting existing subscribers and sacrificing direct sales revenue. #Featured #Trending

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