Moscow, goodbye to the "Z".  Now the government wants to hide the conflict

FLY – It happens in Moscow that you meet someone wearing a t-shirt with a “Z” or “V” or see the letters of the Latin alphabet on the side of trucks and cars that have become the symbol of support for the so-called Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine. But the “patriotic” posters are disappearing: removed by the local authorities, officially at the request of the Muscovites themselves. The banner at the entrance to the Russian Railways building with the slogan “For the President! The Army! Russia” was dismantled, as was the huge poster that stood on the facade of the headquarters of the nationalist party Russia Just-For. the truth.

A huge “Z” still resists on three floors of the Oleg Tabakov Theater and another is illuminated in the evening on the facade of a building not far from the White House, the seat of the Russian government. But “Z signs” were also dismantled in St. Petersburg, in Kirov, 950 kilometers east of Moscow, and in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. “Perhaps communication strategies are changing. In this new phase of the conflict, the focus is more on the ‘liberated’ territories”, he commented. Andrei Kolesnikovanalyst of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wondering about the meaning of the progressive disappearance of the “Z”.

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He asked himself that too Sergei Mironov, co-president of Just-For-Truth Russia, who, in a long post on Telegram, denounced having been forced to lower the banner at the request of the inspectorate for the control of the state of decorum and advertising. “The first argument of the officials was:” Numerous complaints from citizens “”. According to Mironov, the bureaucrats would also have complained about the black-orange ribbon of St. George because, after May 9, the Day of Victory over Nazism, everything related to the party had to be removed.

“We are allowed to remember the war once a year,” he commented sarcastically, recalling that the St. George’s ribbon has been associated with Russian military enterprises for 176 years and that, together with the letters Z and V, it has become a symbol of support. on the offensive in Ukraine. “Therefore these symbols have been banned in Ukraine, in post-Soviet countries and in Germany. Moscow officials have found an example to follow,” Mironov argued. Who went further noting that “in the outward appearance of Moscow there is nothing that reminds us of the war in which the country’s fate is decided”. To conclude: “The position is clear: let him shoot himself somewhere, kill himself. It’s none of our business.” Even the writer Zakhar Prilepinco-chair of the party, is of the same opinion: “Donetsk is bombed, people are killed every day. But there are officials in Moscow who get mad about the letter Z. They don’t want to irritate the capital’s bourgeoisie and they don’t want to irritate themselves.” .

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The two leaders of the Fair Russia party are not alone in suggesting that the authorities do not want to draw too much attention to a conflict that is prolonging longer than expected and that will continue for a long time to come. The same reason why, last week, the state media were asked by the Kremlin not to stress that the offensive had reached its 100th day. Even the correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda, Aleksandr Kotsfresh from the front, observed on his Telegram channel followed by over half a million subscribers that, while in the border cities, such as Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh, the slogans “We are with you! For the Donbass!” abound in Moscow, a “carefree and congested” capital, saw nothing that reminded us that a conflict was going on two hours away by plane.

“For two days – he wrote – I didn’t notice a single patriotic billboard on the streets, not a single portrait of our heroes on the facades of skyscrapers, no Z, no V. As if nothing was happening a thousand kilometers away. Moscow. she has visually fenced off the conflict. “

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