The Union of Journalists of the Kaluga Region established the Man Z award, the project budget is almost 1.5 million rubles, 1,240,000 rubles of which will be allocated from regional funds. The goal of the project is "popularization of people who create a new era and their moral examples as the foundations for the further spiritual and moral development of Russia."
As part of the award, at least 50 security officials, businessmen, politicians and journalists who have become "heroes of our time" will be selected in the Kaluga region. The journalists decided in this way to talk about people who “sacrifice themselves, their time and sometimes their lives” to protect the interests of the Motherland.
"Person Z is the first award of the Kaluga region dedicated to the new heroes of our time - the military, volunteers, philanthropists, politicians, media activists, entrepreneurs who are creating a new Russia - the one that began on February 24, 2022."
Also, the Union of Journalists plans to create, by voting on VKontakte, a “national pantheon of new heroes of our time”, for the population, which is “disoriented by the flow of Western mass culture and propaganda” and “experiences the psychological trauma of the social breakdown of the Perestroika period and the collapse of the country in the 90s years of the twentieth century.
The section on the "social significance" of the project says that according to a poll by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 80% of the inhabitants of the Kaluga region support Putin's decision to launch a "special operation." However, President Vladimir Putin noted on July 8 that “the country lives an ordinary peaceful life (...) the guys plow there under bullets, risk their lives and lose their comrades in battle. For the Motherland. Need a nationwide agenda to support the armed forces
While more than a million rubles are allocated from the regional budget for the Z-prize, Russians in the Kaluga region live on the edge and beyond the poverty line. In 2021, the Federal Business Journal published a study by the FinExpertiza International Audit and Consulting Network on the number of such Russians. As the study showed, 43.8% of the population in the Kaluga region is on the verge of poverty. With a median per capita income of 26,063 rubles per month, 7.9% of the population have an income of 40% or less (from 10,425 rubles), another 14.3% of the population live on the poverty line on 13,032 rubles per month. Balancing on the brink of poverty with an average per capita income of 60% of the median income and below (15,638 rubles per month) - 21.6% of the population.
The letter Z, which the Ministry of Defense actively uses as a symbol of the war in Ukraine, has been used not only in the Kaluga region. On June 21, the Ministry of Agriculture of Dagestan showed a drive of sheep with the letters Z on their backs to Oleg Gazmanov's song "Forward, Russia." The video was posted on the department's Telegram channel, but then it was deleted.
Initially, the symbols Z and V were applied to military equipment with which the Russian army invaded Ukraine. After that, the Russian Ministry of Defense began to use these symbols as support for the Russian military. In many cities of Russia, flash mobs are held using these symbols, often state employees, students or children are driven to them. For example, the Kazan hospice staged a flash mob with the participation of child patients, their parents and staff - they all lined up in the shape of a large letter Z on the street. The symbol was banned in Ukraine , Lithuania and Germany .