A number of Russian navy vans with the image “Z” written in white have been seen parading close to the border forward of Moscow’s navy operation in Ukraine.
The image was additionally noticed on an array of navy autos, at occasions inside a triangle or a sq., close to town of Belgorod in Russia, positioned lower than 20 miles (32km) from the Ukrainian border.
Movies and nonetheless photographs of the autos present the letter both by itself or enclosed by a white triangle, sq. or circle. Different symbols — similar to a white triangle with two traces on both facet, pink triangles, white circles, white triangles and white slashes — have additionally been noticed on among the autos.
What are the speculations?
The markings should not simply restricted to tanks, however have additionally been seen on vans and amphibious rigs.
Most observers counsel the markings are figuring out alerts to fellow Russian troops with a purpose to keep away from being victimised by pleasant fireplace.
Others have speculated that the markings might establish what firm the autos are part of or the place they’re alleged to be headed within the occasion of an invasion.
However, what does it imply?
Professor Michael Clarke, former director of the defence suppose tank Rusi, advised Sky Information: “Typically these symbols might be location based mostly – they are going to be speaking the place a unit is heading. In the event that they have been solely to mark the autos as being Russian, you could possibly simply use one image.
Such alerts should not out of the norm for autos utilized in fight.”
Throughout World Battle II, the US navy employed comparable markings on armored autos and jeeps for identification functions.
“The truth that they’re totally different tells you extra – they’re in all probability indicators which let you know which items are heading to the north-east or north-west of a district, for instance.”
He mentioned that these markings are usually solely utilized shortly earlier than an assault, in order that the enemy forces can not copy them.
The symbols mirror UK and US techniques within the First Gulf Battle when forces despatched to liberate Kuwait marked autos with an upturned chevron.
A supply in Kyiv advised The Solar on the weekend: “It will counsel last preparations are full.
“It’s important that any attacking pressure could be distinguished, notably from the air the place Russian forces may have full management.