As the world remains transfixed by the events in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces invade their neighboring country on multiple fronts, Ukrainians are defending their homeland on the ground, in the air, on the sea, and on social media.
With Russian tanks and troop carriers facing much more substantial opposition than Putin may have expected as Russia violates all international agreements with the illegal incursion into their neighbor’s sovereign territory, social media has been full of stories of bravery featuring extraordinary footage from the battlefront and from behind defensive lines.
Video clips of ordinary Ukraine citizens rising up to defend their nation from the foreign aggressors and of Russian conscripts surrendering while declaring their unwillingness to murder innocent Ukrainians have been going viral as the country’s media wages a battle for international public opinion in the face of lies from Putin about his reasons for the unilateral military assault across the border.
Here are a few of the most powerful posts demonstrating the resolve and ingenuity of the Ukrainian people in the face of a hostile invasion.
Take for instance the casual bravery of this man who continues to blissfully puff away at his cigarette as he carries a landmine away from where it was presumably placed by Russian saboteurs under a bridge in Berdyansk in Southeastern Ukraine.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 27, 2022
Footage of Ukrainians targeting the invaders provided vital emotional support for their countrymen.
In another video from Berdyansk, a Russian vehicle was targeted with a Molotov Cocktail tossed from a passing van.
In Berdyansk Russian vehicle was targeted with firebomb from the van passing by pic.twitter.com/1FjonLSk1e
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) February 27, 2022
Footage of Russian aircraft being shot down and tanks mired in thick mud and unable to continue with their forward progress also helped lift the spirits of the country’s defenders.
Footage from Balakleya in the Kharkiv region appears to show an aircraft getting shot down. One of the people speaking in video mentions seeing the parachutes. pic.twitter.com/Vnn8h8rMrl
— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) February 27, 2022
Two Russian helicopters downed close to Ivankov pic.twitter.com/LmrGISPe96
— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) February 27, 2022
Russian tank and 2S1 Gvozdika are stuck in the mud near Sumy City today. The crews abandoned the vehicles and fled. #UkraineUnderAttack #Ukraine #Russia #Putin #NATO #Kyiv #RussiaUkraineWar pic.twitter.com/hfq7KwiEWB
— Russia-Ukraine Latest News (@RussiaUkraineNs) February 27, 2022
Not only were Russian tanks getting literally bogged down, but they were also getting confiscated by quick-thinking Ukrainian farmers.
A Ukrainian uses a tractor to liberate a tankpic.twitter.com/gKziKgHchh
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) February 27, 2022
Putin surely must be upset that his invading army has faced considerably more destruction than he may have anticipated and that Russian casualties were plastered all over Twitter for the world to see.
It wasn’t just Ukrainians who were enjoying seeing the much-vaunted Russian forces plagued by shortages of food and fuel.
After a Russian ship ran out of fuel, they were turned away and taunted by a refueling ship registered to another former Soviet Socialist Republic — Georgia — a country that has also faced Russian military aggression in the past.
One of the most powerful tools that Ukrainian media have been unleashing in their propaganda wars against Russia are videos from captured Russian soldiers who tell their captors’ cameras that they were unwilling participants in an attack that is killing innocent civilians who were fellow Slavs.
“Mom, get me out of here! We're killing civilians here."
These are the words of the Russian invaders who voluntarily surrender to Ukraine. The Security Service of #Ukraine showed how the invaders from #Volgograd repent that they came to the Ukrainian land with the war. pic.twitter.com/nXW142EJjq
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 27, 2022
With many members of the Russian military reported to be deserting their units in action, videos addressed directly to the invading forces sought to sow fear and doubt among their ranks that they were simply cannon fodder for Putin’s dastardly plans of Russian imperialism.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) February 27, 2022
As Putin was forced to send his Gestapo into the streets of Russian cities to break up anti-war demonstrations, at least one Russian citizen was angry enough at her anti-democratic authoritarian president to burn her Russian passport in protest.
In European countries Russians are burning their own passports in protest against the war! They say that having the passport of an aggressor country is worse than not having one at all.
Video was sent by the eyewitnesses pic.twitter.com/zqNpaahUDy
— The New Voice of Ukraine (@NewVoiceUkraine) February 27, 2022
In the end, the war in Ukraine will be won or lost on the ground in Ukraine, but with the Russian economy already suffering from the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that country’s citizens facing a future cut off from the global financial system, turning international public sentiment — and the hearts and minds of Russia’s own restive citizens — against Putin and his war crimes can only help their cause.
Occupy Democrats will continue to bring you the latest information on the war instigated by the man Donald Trump called a “genius” in the days ahead.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.