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Laser diagnostics at the wavelength of 266 nm with a spatial resolution of 5-8 μm were developed for the investigation of dense Z-pinches at the 1-MA generator. The absorption and refraction in Z-pinch plasma are significantly smaller at the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength of 266 nm compared to the optical range. This allows for observation of the fine internal structure of Z-pinches at the stagnation phase. A UV laser beam penetrates through the trailing plasma around Z-pinches and shows strong instabilities of the dense pinch inside this plasma column. Kink instability, necks, and areas of disruption are seen in Z-pinches at the peak of the X-ray pulse and later in time. UV two-frame side-on and end-on shadowgraphy show plasma dynamics in the pinch at stagnation.