Zurich Insurance is removing the prominent “Z” logo from its social media accounts following the Russian public's adoption of the symbol as a show of support for Russian troops in Ukraine.
In a statement over the weekend, the company said it was removing the logo — a white Z on a blue circle background — because it did not want to be accused of supporting Russia in the conflict, which began in late February.
“We are temporarily removing the use of the letter 'Z' from social channels where it appears in isolation and could be misinterpreted,” the company said in a statement to Reuters and other members of the press.
The company told reporters that it is “monitoring the situation closely” and will take further actions if and when required, suggesting that it may move to rebrand due to the association with the Russian military.
Zurich Insurance said earlier in March that it was no longer taking on new domestic customers in Russia and has no plans to renew existing local business.
The Russian military has been using the letter “Z,” alongside a host of other symbols, as markings on military vehicles taking part in the Ukraine conflict.
The “Z” symbol has been adopted by Russians who support the war, and has appeared prominently on flags at pro-Kremlin rallies. Russian social media users and other supporters of the Russian army, such as those in Eastern Europe, have also opted to include the letter “Z” in their social media bios.
Anger against the Russian military has reached a boiling point on social media, with many users adopting cancel culture style tactics to not only cancel the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also all things Russian.
Russian classical composer Tchaikovsky was cancelled by the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra in the U.K. after the orchestra took issue with the inclusion of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, which celebrated Russia’s defence against Napoleon’s invasion.
As Rebel News reported, famed Russian conductor Valery Gergiev was fired by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra for his refusal to publicly denounce Putin.
Russian chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin, who is among the top 20 players in the world, was also banned from international competition for his political views.