Swiss insurer changes logo over visual link to Russia’s operation in Ukraine — Analysis

The letter Z featured in Zurich Insurance’s original logo has come to be associated with support for Moscow’s offensive

Zurich Insurance Group, Switzerland’s largest insurer, has temporarily replaced its original logo on social media, which featured a big white Z against a blue circle. The company has explained that the letter has come to represent support for the Kremlin’s military campaign against Ukraine, hence the Swiss insurer’s anxiety to avoid any misunderstanding.

The new version of the insurance company’s logo is similar to the original one in design, except, instead of the letter Z, it sports the word Zurich in full.

In a statement to Reuters, Zurich Insurance Group said that it was “temporarily removing the use of the letter ‘Z’ from social channels where it appears in isolation and could be misinterpreted.” The company also noted that it would “If necessary, take additional actions.

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Zurich Insurance had announced this month it will cease all operations in Russia. The company won’t take on new customers nor renew its existing Russian business. In January several media outlets reported that the Swiss insurer had pulled out of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project for fear that it could be targeted by US sanctions. However, the project was stopped the next month anyway, following the start of Russia’s military campaign against its neighbor.

In late February when Vladimir Putin’s military operation against Ukraine began, the letter Z and V were the first to be spotted on Russian military equipment. Although there has been no official comment so far as to what these letters stand for, the letter Z in particular appears to have become a symbol of support for the Kremlin’s actions, at least in Russia. The symbol has been displayed on billboards, vehicles and buildings by individuals and sometimes regional authorities.

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