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Brave Ukrainian woman tells Russian soldier: ‘Put sunflower seeds in your pocket so they grow when you die’

The Independent logo The Independent 25/02/2022 Shweta Sharma

A Ukrainian woman is being hailed for her bravery after she confronted a heavily-armed Russian soldier and offered him sunflower seeds — so that they might bloom when he dies.

The woman was captured on camera voicing her outrage as Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, with tanks rolling across the border and air strikes targeting major cities. Ukraine says it suffered 137 casualties on the first day of the war.

The woman can be seen in the video asking the soldiers "Who are you?", to which a soldier standing in the street says: "We have exercises here. Please go this way."

After asking if they are Russians, she said: "So what the f*** are you doing here?”

As the soldiers tried to calm her down, the enraged woman said: "You’re occupants, you’re fascists! What the f*** are you doing on our land with all these guns?

“Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here,” she said.

She continued to offer him the seeds of the sunflower, which is the national flower of Ukraine.

The video was shared online by Internews Ukraine, an independent media charity based in Kyiv. It has since gone viral on social media with more than two million views, and has sparked an outpouring of emotional comments.

Russian forces’ movements since the invasion began (Press Association Images) © Provided by The Independent Russian forces’ movements since the invasion began (Press Association Images)

“The coming days and nights in #Ukraine are likely going to be long and hard. But with spirit like this woman shows, #Putin may find he bit off way more than he can chew. #PocketSunflowers to grow sunflowers from their graves!” a Twitter user said.

“Am I the only one reading that over and over, and getting chills each time?” wrote Chris Taylor, another Twitter user.

The viral video comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued into a second day and explosions were heard in the capital Kyiv.

The EU and US have announced sanctions against Russia in protest against its military action, while thousands of Russians have taken to the streets in Moscow and St Petersburg to express their objections to the war.

More than 1,750 protesters were arrested by the Russian authorities on Thursday across 54 cities, at least 957 of them in Moscow.

“I want to ask Ukrainians for forgiveness. We didn’t vote for those who unleashed the war,” Tatyana Usmanova, an opposition activist in Moscow, wrote on Facebook.

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