6b47 Helmet of "Leshy"
Unknown soldier of the "V" Forces
While Russia has used numerous styles of marking for this invasion, none have proven quite as deadly as those bearing the “V.” The V was first used to designate two distinct forces at the outset of the invasion, the Eastern Military District (the forces driving from Belarus to assault Kyiv) and the Airborne VDV forces in the south. For the most part, the Eastern Military District consisted of almost all Russian Naval Infantry and VDV with some additional support from primarily Buryat-centric regular combat units. As the war has gone on use has become looser, but it is still primarily constant with use by airborne and marine elements of the Russian armed forces.
This helmet, Russia's standard issue 6b47, uses a cover uniquely bearing four graffitied markings, two “V” on the sides of the helmet, a “Z” on top, and on the back, “Leshy,” the callsign of the soldier. Combined use of V and Z was commonly seen amongst forces in the southern Donbas but as units have been transferred around, can now be found by those original units all over the front. The callsign of the soldier, “Leshy,” is the name of an ancient Slavic deity who oversaw the protection of the forest and hunting. I’ve seen numerous other graffiti examples referencing Slavic mythology coming out of this conflict, so this is an interesting new one that at least seems relevant to the terrain this soldier found himself fighting in.