The Russian military never imagined the fierce resistance they would face as it brashly rolled into Ukraine one week ago. From the first moment of Putin’s reckless invasion, the spirit and the resilience of the Ukrainian people has been on full display.
Although the bombs have been falling and the casualties are mounting, defiant citizens have demonstrated the willingness to fight for their freedom, even at the cost of their own lives.
In one of the lighter moments of the past week, former U.K. Defense Minister Johnny Mercer posted a clip to Twitter that appears to show a tractor towing a Russian armored personnel carrier along an unnamed (presumably) Ukrainian road. A Russian man is seen desperately trying to stop the driver.
Mercer describes the amusing moment with the caption, “No expert, but the invasion doesn’t seem to be going particularly well.”
No expert, but the invasion doesn’t seem to be going particularly well.
Ukrainian tractor steals Russian APC today 👇 https://t.co/exutLiJc5v
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) February 27, 2022
A Twitter user responding to Mercer’s tweet posted a similar video. It shows a different tractor pulling a military truck.
If confirmed, this could be the funniest part of Russia's war with Ukraine. Today, a Ukrainian farmer stole a Russian military track using his farm tractor.
— New Black Era (@NewBlackEra0) March 1, 2022
Clearly, neither of these videos have been confirmed. But, if they are authentic, this has become a real David vs. Goliath moment.
In the clip below posted by Ukrainian media outlet The New Voice of Ukraine, a courageous Berdyansk civilian is seen carefully moving a mine off the road so the Ukrainian military can move forward. Berdyansk is a port city in the south-eastern part of the country.
A Ukrainian in Berdyansk spotted a mine on the road and didn't wait around for a bomb disposal unit – at great risk to life and limb, he removed the mine, clearing the way for the Ukrainian military. pic.twitter.com/iC9ZTrixlC
— The New Voice of Ukraine (@NewVoiceUkraine) February 27, 2022
Below, a large group of residents blocks a road in southeastern Ukraine, forcing a Russian tank to turn around.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) February 27, 2022
According to The Telegraph, there have been unconfirmed reports of Russians “dumping fuel from tanks rather than face the Ukrainian forces” and others deserting.
The Daily Record and other U.K. media outlets are reporting that several of Putin’s “closest advisers” have abandoned him and that some MPs do not support the war. It is important to note that these reports are unconfirmed.
An article in The Mirror claims that “in response to Putin’s increased crackdown on the opposition,” the number of Russian men between the ages of 18 and 60 seeking political asylum at the U.S. southern border has risen sharply in the past few months.
These men would rather leave the county than be called upon to fight their neighbors.
The Telegraph (Australia) reported: “In 2020, just 467 Russians were detained at America’s southern border. Last year, that number soared to 9,376 – a result of the Russian crackdown on dissent following widespread protests spearheaded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, experts say.”
Moreover, these numbers are rising. In January, according to the report, “1,028 Russians and 248 Ukrainians” entered the U.S.
The Telegraph spoke to Ekaterina Mouratova, a Russian-American immigration lawyer based in Miami. She said, “We have never been so busy. But the number is going to skyrocket. I have got tons of emails in the last few days – hundreds. They are mostly men between 20 and 55 who are asking if they can get protection from the US if Russia does a mandatory military draft. These people do not want to go to war.”
“Conditions in Russia are becoming harsher and harsher and there is a lot of political instability around the region. More and more people are looking for a way out,” Mouratova added.
Protests have sprung up across Russia since Putin moved his military into Ukraine, which have led to thousands of arrests.
This is most definitely Putin’s war.
Yes, it’s heartening to see the fierce resistance of the Ukrainian people. However, reports of a forty mile long convoy of Russian tanks and military vehicles advancing toward the capital city of Kyiv suggest the odds are not in their favor.
But one thing is for sure. If Russia does take Ukraine, the occupation which follows will not be easy for them. The resistance Russian troops will face from the citizens under their control may never subside.
I’ve wondered several times over the last week, if Putin were given the opportunity to turn back the clock, would he still go ahead with the invasion?
A previous version of this article was published on The Western Journal.