Lithuanian MPs want to outlaw Russian military Z symbol

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Two Lithuanian MPs have called on the country to ban displays of the Russian military ‘Z’ symbol following its invasion of Ukraine.

Lawmakers are debating amendments to outlaw the black and orange Georgian ribbon and the ‘Z’ symbol used to mark Russian military vehicles in Ukraine or show support for the invasion.

Anyone who displays or distributes either symbol at meetings or mass events could be fined up to €500 under the proposal.

The proposals were tabled by Freedom Party MP Monika Ošmianskienė and Social Democrat lawmaker Linas Jonauskas.

Ošmianskienė has said that she wants the ‘Z’ to be outlawed in the same way as Nazi and communist symbols.

“In the context of the Russian war in Ukraine, the Georgian strip and the Russian army invasion sign ‘Z’ become a symbol of not only propaganda but also aggression,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Action must be taken as soon as possible and prevent war propaganda and hatred,” Ošmianskienė added.

Lithuanian law already prohibits the display of flags, coats of arms, or symbols representing Nazi Germany, the USSR, or the Lithuanian SSR.

A man walks past posters depicting the Russian flag and the letter Z in Kronstadt, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. The letter Z has been used by Russian forces as an identifying sign on their vehicles in Ukraine. On 24 February Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory in what the Russian president declared a ‘special military operation’, resulting in fighting and destruction in the country, a huge flow of refugees, and multiple sanctions against Russia. EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV

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