Displaying 'Z' symbol to support Russian troops a criminal act in Germany
"The letter Z as such is of course not illegal," a representative for the federal government's Interior Ministry told reporters, "but its usage may in certain situations imply a support of Russia's campaign of aggression."
Individuals who exhibit the letter "Z" in Germany to show support for Russia's conflict in Ukraine may face punishment, according to an Interior Ministry official on Monday.
Following statements by Bavaria and Lower Saxony that they, too, would penalise similar crimes, Berlin's interior minister stated earlier that municipal officials would investigate incidents of the Z sign being used to promote Russia's invasion.
"The letter Z as such is of course not illegal," a representative for the federal government's Interior Ministry told reporters, "but its usage may in certain situations imply a support of Russia's campaign of aggression." The letter Z has been used as a marker on Russian military equipment participating in the fight, and it has been embraced by Russians who support the war, appearing prominently on banners and during pro-Kremlin demonstrations.
"The Russian war of aggression on Ukraine is a criminal act, and anybody who publicly supports this war of aggression may face punishment," an Interior Ministry official said at a routine government press conference. "The federal security authorities are keeping an eye on this, and we appreciate the announcement that various federal states will also investigate if this may be a criminal conduct and take appropriate measures," he added.
According to Germany's energy minister, the Group of Seven major countries have decided to reject Russia's demand for payment in rubles for Russian energy imports. "All G-7 ministers agreed totally that this (would be) a one-sided and blatant infringement of the current contracts," Robert Habeck told reporters on Monday.