A district court in Wiesbaden, Germany, has fined a German national €1500 for wearing a T-shirt with the letter Z – a symbol of support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. According to a report from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the man wore the T-shirt to work.
The 49-year-old from Wiesbaden worked as an electrician in Walluf, and had emigrated to Germany from Russia in 1992. During the court hearing, the man revealed that Russian media outlets were his main source of information, adding that he believed that Nazis were in power in Ukraine. According to him, the T-shirt with the letter Z was brought to him by a friend from Russia, which he wore to work in protest against the Ukrainian flag put up on the company building by his employer.
The man stated that he did not realise he had committed a crime and regretted his action and his reliance on propagandist media. Once the fine is paid, the amount will be transferred to Aktion Deutschland Hilft – an alliance of aid organizations that collects donations for the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, as well as the victims of the war in Ukraine.The public display of the letter Z, a symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is a criminal offence in Germany. However, the court offered not to initiate criminal proceedings if the defendant pays the fine on time.