Ukrainian woman offers sunflower seeds to armed Russian soldier
A Ukrainian woman has won widespread admiration for her bravery after the BBC posted footage of her offering sunflower seeds to an armed Russian soldier so that Ukraine’s national flower would bloom once the aggressor had perished in the soil.
A Twitter user, Chris Taylor, noted that the BBC had translated the exchange between the woman and the soldier and commented: “The full transcript is incredible.”
He wondered: “Am I the only one reading that over and over, and getting chills each time?”
Calling the Russian invaders “occupants” and “fascists”, the Ukrainian woman refuses to be cowed by the soldier’s warning to “not escalate the situation”, saying: “How can it be further escalated? You f*****g came here uninvited.”
The incident took place in the port city of Henichesk along the Sea of Azov in the Kherson province of southern Ukraine. Several soldiers can be seen in the BBC footage, in which the woman confronts one of them.
Comments on social media ranged from “What a woman!” and “my goodness, the gumption” to “This is greatness and hopefully an inspiration for Ukraine” and “The Russians will forever regret the day they violated their Ukrainian cousins. This brave woman represents the fire that will consume them all.”
A netizen, Pranoy Dutta, suggested: “This woman is more courageous than many Western politicians. That sunflower analogy is so touching.”
The incident, although it might be a one-off, indicates that President Vladimir Putin may have underestimated the determination of the Ukrainians to fight back against a vastly superior force.
Taylor wasn’t exaggerating when he described the transcript as “incredible”. Whether the woman survives the war or not, it is probable she will occupy an honourable footnote when the history of the Ukrainian resistance comes to be written.
The transcript of the conversation:
Woman: Who are you?
Soldier: We have exercises here. Please go away.
Woman: What kind of exercises? Are you Russian?
Woman: So what the f**k are you doing here?
Soldier: Right now, our discussion will lead to nothing.
Woman: You’re occupants, you’re fascists! What the f**k are you doing on our land with all these guns? Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers (Ukrainian national flower) will grow when you all lie down here.
Soldier: Right now, our discussion will lead nowhere. Let’s not escalate this situation. Please.
Woman: What situation? Guys, guys. Put the sunflower seeds in your pockets, please. You will lie down here with the seeds. You came to my land. Do you understand? You are occupiers. You are enemies.
Woman: And from this moment, you are cursed. I’m telling you.
Soldier: Now listen to me….
Woman: I’ve heard you.
Soldier: Let’s not escalate the situation. Please go this way.
Woman: How can it be further escalated? You f*****g came here uninvited. Piece of shit.