Tractors symbolize Ukrainian Resistance to Russia

Like St. Javelin and the Ghost of Kyiv before it, the humble tractor has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion. Videos and pictures of tractors hauling away Russian armor have gone viral on social media. Though none have been verified, there’s half a dozen or so clips making the rounds and as they’re shared, they’re eventually turned into memes, posters, and T-Shirts. A tractor hauling away Russian armor is now as ubiquitous a symbol as the Javelin or Molotov Cocktail.

The first video appears to have surfaced online on February 28, just four days after the war started. In the video, a tractor is shown hauling away a Russian tank while someone runs alongside, desperately trying to catch up. “Ukrainian farmer steals Russian tank from right under the nose of the Russians who occupied it,” a subtitle says.

The footage spread far and wide and soon it was matched with other, similar videos and photos. A green John Deere hauled a Russian tank through a snowy street. Two tractors hauled a piece of Russian armor through a muddy field…the veracity of tractors hauling tanks doesn’t matter to people sharing the footage and transforming it into memes. It’s a powerful symbol that bolsters twin narratives about the war: Russia’s military hardware was not prepared for this war and everyone in Ukraine is ready to fight back against Russia, including farmers.

On March 1, Kyiv also announced it won’t be charging taxes on Russian assets captured by Ukrainian citizens. “Have you captured a Russian tank or armored personnel carrier and are worried about how to declare it? Keep calm and continue to defend the Motherland! There is no need to declare the captured Russian tanks and other equipment,” read the announcement.

For me, that’s the best endorsement of the reality of farmers rolling away with Russian armored vehicles hooked up to their tractors. Letting folks know in advance they won’t be taxed on their spoils of war is an absolute hoot – and spot on!

Doesn’t do the US connection any harm, either, to see how many of those tractors are John Deere Green.

31 thoughts on “Tractors symbolize Ukrainian Resistance to Russia

  1. Downbeat says:

    “Bayraktar” is a patriotic Ukrainian song that became popular after its release in 1 March 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Dedicated to the Bayraktar TB2 combat drone due to its successful deployment against Russian troops, the song is written by Ukrainian Taras Borovok, and insults the Russian Army together with the invasion itself.
    Bayraktar Music video with English translation

    • eideard says:

      Use of the letter “Z” is the ultimate in hypocrisy. In Greek, meaning “he lives”, the 1969 movie is a stunning indictment of military and fascist suppression of democratic rule in Greece in the 1960s. The Russians know this. Most Europeans know this.

      When the Costa-Gavras film first played in New Haven, “someone” painted the letter “Z” two stories high on the side of a building facing the theatre and businesses along the West side of the Yale campus. It remained there for years.

          • Boomer says:

            “In 1919, Johnston McCulley began to write a series of popular novels about a swashbuckling champion of justice. Dressed in black, disguised by a mask over his eyes, this adventurer was a master horseman and an expert swordsman, who moved silently and swiftly by night. He left a unique calling card, a “Z” slashed into the clothing or, sometimes, the flesh of his adversaries. The identity of this masked man remained a mystery to his enemies; he was known only as Zorro, Spanish for fox.
            …The story of Salomon Pico soon passed into folklore — a man taking vengeance on those who had wronged him, a guerrilla warrior fighting to save his homeland from an unscrupulous invader. It’s likely Pico was protected from capture to a certain extent due to the growing tensions between the Californios and American authorities. McCulley melded Pico’s story and additional outlaw tales to create the character of Zorro. In deference to his 20th-century American readers, he placed Zorro in Spanish California, battling corrupt Spanish authorities, rather than American. McCulley’s stories of a highly romanticized and pastoral Spanish California actually have their roots in a troubled transitional era of California history.”

    • Oscar Mike says:

      The “V” was selected as a recognition symbol for Coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm, similar to the use of Invasion stripes on the wings and fuselage of Allied aircraft for D-Day at Normandy. Since The coalition forces in the gulf were from so many different countries there was the risk of fratricide from vehicle misidentification. This was extremely important as the Coalition forces from Syria, Egypt, and many of the former Soviet block nations were equipped with T-72’s and other Soviet equipment, as were the Iraqi forces.

  2. Tank Girrl says:

    Three Russian astronauts boarded the International Space Station wearing flight suits of striking colors — yellow and blue, similar to the colors of Ukraine’s flag. (NYT 3/18/22) [includes video]
    Eric Berger@SciGuySpace 4:18 PM · Mar 18, 2022: “I still haven’t found anyone who really knows why the Russian cosmonauts wore yellow flight suits (with Ukraine blue highlights) to board the ISS. However, this is a revealing answer from the mission commander. Just wild if they smuggled these suits on board.”
    Quote Tweet Katya Pavlushchenko@katlinegrey· 14h Replying to @Ian_Benecken
    “They. We’re asked about the color of the suits, and Oleg answered, there was too much yellow fabric accumulated in the warehouse. Except that, just usual greetings and best wishes.
    p/s: “@OlegMKS was born in Latvia. This was for sure a rogue move to show the their support to Ukraine.” Re: Oleg Artemyev

  3. Seeing is believing says:

    Putin Deepfake Imagines Russian President Announcing Surrender : This is likely the first time that deepfake videos have been created and deployed in a war propaganda effort.
    In the video, Putin appears to say, “We’ve managed to reach peace with Ukraine” and goes on to announce the restoration of independence of Crimea as a republic inside Ukraine. A tweet sharing the video with a caption in Ukrainian reads in translation, “The President of the Russian Federation announced the surrender of Russia. Russian soldier, drop your weapons and go home while you’re alive!”

  4. Bingo says:

    “Ukraine Just Captured Part Of One Of Russia’s Most Capable Electronic Warfare Systems
    Russia’s lost Krasukha-4 electronic warfare system command module would be a prize for foreign intelligence agencies.” (3/22/22)
    Re: Krasukha (electronic warfare system)
    Footnote: The Akutan Zero

  5. Zippo says:

    Russia’s tanks in Ukraine have a ‘jack-in-the-box’ design flaw. And the West has known about it since the Gulf war
    Unlike modern Western tanks, Russian ones carry multiple shells within their turrets. This makes them highly vulnerable as even an indirect hit can start a chain reaction that explodes their entire ammunition store of up to 40 shells.
    The resulting shockwave can be enough to blast the tank’s turret as high as a two-story building, as can be seen in a recent video on social media.
    Also: “In Ukraine, destroyed Russian tanks are the newest roadside attraction”

    • Згадайте Бучу says:

      A single Ukrainian missile crew consisting of 3 to 4 persons appears to destroy four Russian tanks in as many minutes with a Stugna-P anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed by the Luch Design Bureau, which is headquartered in Kyiv. The tanks are estimated to have been about 2km (1.25 miles) from the launcher, which can be located up to 50 meters from the system’s control panel.

  6. Mike says:

    Russian troops stole nearly $5 million worth of farm equipment from a John Deere dealership in Melitopol.
    The stolen equipment was located by remote GPS and locked, preventing it from being used.
    “When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters to Chechnya, they realized that they could not even turn them on,” a source told CNN.
    Other recent reports from the area have said invading troops looted a museum of gold artifacts and stole hundreds of thousands of tons of grain from the region.
    John Deere Ukraina LLC:

    “How Ukrainians Saved Their Capital : When Russia attacked Kyiv, Ukrainians dropped everything to protect the city—and to ease one another’s suffering.” (The New Yorker. May 9, 2022 issue)

  7. Update says:

    Ukrainian soldiers are refurbishing abandoned Russian tanks and trucks
    In the aftermath of Ukraine’s successful Kharkiv offensive over the past week, fleets of Russian armored vehicles were left abandoned on the battlefield, left behind by Russian troops as they desperately tried to escape the Ukrainian advance.
    Thanks to what the Ukrainians have nicknamed “Russian Lend Lease,” more and more of Kyiv’s soldiers now drive around with bullet- and artillery-proof plating. That not only translates into fewer casualties but also into greater operational sustainability on the battlefield.

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