Other articles 09:30 24 Aug 2022

24 symbols of the fight for Independence: what supports Ukrainians' faith in Victory

From Bayraktars and jars of tomatoes to cotton and sunflowers — what helps Ukrainians maintain their fighting spirit.

Ukrainians could always find support points, even during the most difficult periods of history. Today, when the russian army is trying to erase entire Ukrainian cities from the face of the earth, the world around us acquires enormous symbolic weight.

National symbols of Ukraine are called the treasure of the Ukrainian people. During the six months of russia's war in Ukraine, this piggy bank was replenished with new symbols of indomitability and stability, love and self-sacrifice, heroic resistance and courage, care and respect. It is they which give us confidence in our Victory. We hold on to them, think of them under bombs and sirens, and create memes and jokes. After all, a sense of humor is also a very powerful weapon.

For Independence Day, Rubryka decided to collect 24 symbols of this war, which inspire Ukrainians to Victory.

1. Bayraktar


Ukrainians write songs, draw memes, and even embroider images of the Bayraktar strike drones of the Turkish company Baykar Makina. These combat drones have been participating in hostilities since the first day of russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They destroy the command posts and strongholds of the russian troops, attack air defense equipment, and strike at enemy concentrations. With their help, Snake Island was liberated, and the russian fleet suffered. Millions of Ukrainians and foreigners, realizing the importance of these drones, took part in fundraising for them. People's Bayraktars are already in Ukraine and help our soldiers destroy the enemies.


2. Jar of tomatoes

Банка з помідорами

At the beginning of the full-scale russia's aggression, a story about how a woman knocked down a drone with a jar of cucumbers spread across the network. Most considered it a "war fable." However, as it turned out, only a jar of cucumbers was fictional in this story because, in fact, they were tomatoes. Seeing the drone from the balcony, the woman from Kyiv grabbed the first thing she could get her hands on — a jar of homemade preserves — and threw it at the enemy drone. Of course, she hit the target! Because only Ukrainian stuff should fly in the Ukrainian sky!

3. Good evening, we are from Ukraine!

Добрий вечір, ми з України!

This greeting united millions of people in Ukraine and became known far abroad. Journalists and bloggers use it; Ukrainians use it to greet each other, use these words to shoot patriotic videos with the military, and create memes and songs. The authors of the phrase are considered to be two sound producers from Kremenchuk, Artem Tkachenko and Maksym Mokrenko, known as PROBASS ∆ HARDI. They released the track "Good evening" even before the war. And with the beginning of the war, when it was the most difficult, the popularity of the phrase was increased by the head of Mykolayiv RMA Vitaly Kim, who began each of his video addresses with an encouraging smile and these words.

4. Ghost of Kyiv 

Привид Києва

The "Ghost of Kyiv" is a brave pilot about whom legends have been made since the first days of a full-scale war. He defended Ukrainian skies and had dozens of downed enemy planes to his credit. Stories about the Ukrainian hero helped Ukrainians to hold on and gave a sense of protection in those times when we all really needed to "close" the Ukrainian sky. But then rumors about his death began to spread. That's when the Armed Forces revealed the Ghost of Kyiv's secret — it was a collective image of the 40th tactical aviation brigade of the Air Force pilots, who protect the skies of the capital. "They suddenly appear where they are not expected!" Our pilots are still watching the Ukrainian sky, and the legendary "Ghost" can now be touched literally: a mini-sculpture in his honor has been installed in Kyiv. Look for the bronze miniature on the facade of the building at Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street, 56-a.

5. Palyanytsia and Polunytsia (strawberry)

Паляниця і полуниця

Our language is our power! In Ukrainian cities, these similar-sounding words became a kind of password that helped identify russian sabotage and intelligence groups. After all, as it turned out, it is practically impossible for those with a "russian-speaking jaw" to repeat them and not confuse them.

6. Red viburnum

Червона калина

"Chervona Kalyna" (Red viburnum) is a Ukrainian resistance song created more than a century ago. Andrii Khlyvnyuk's cover gave it a new life. Now "Chervona Kalyna" has become wildly popular in Ukraine and has become a national song, a new anthem of Ukrainians in the struggle for their freedom and independence. The song is sung by Ukrainian and foreign celebrities, put on ringtones, chanted from football stands. Numerous covers and remixes in different languages ​​are recorded and published on social networks. Choirs even perform it during church services. But "Chervona Kalyna" sounds particularly touching when performed by little Ukrainians — "Hey, hey, let's cheer up!"

7. Rooster and cupboard from Borodyanka

Півник і шафа з Бородянки

The legendary rooster is a decorative figure of the Vasylkiv majolica factory, which miraculously survived the enemy shelling in Borodyanka. Together with the locker, it became a symbol of Ukrainian resilience in the conditions of the war against the russian invaders. It is even though the house itself has practically turned into ruins. The standing cupboard, with utensils and a ceramic rooster, was carefully removed from the wall of the destroyed building and, with the owner's consent, was transferred to the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity. And one of these roosters went to Great Britain together with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a gift.

8. Cat Gloria

Кицька Глорія

The red Persian cat became famous after ZooPatrol volunteers spotted it on the seventh floor of a destroyed building in Borodyanka. The animal spent almost two months in ruins but survived, although it needed treatment. The tired but indomitable expression on the cat's face inspired Ukrainians. The cat, which received the nickname Shafa — in honor of the famous kitchen cabinet, began to be called "the angry face of the people." Thanks to numerous publications, the owner recognized the cat, and it turned out that her real name was Gloria. The cat was lost during the evacuation and missed her very much. Fortunately, Gloria Shafa is now back with her owners.

9. "Russian warship, go … yourself"

The phrase of the border guard from Snake Island shocked all of Ukraine and the world on the first day of the full-scale war. It charged Ukrainians with a fighting spirit, which people needed, and became one of the main symbols of resistance to this war. On February 24, the occupiers demanded that the border guards on the island surrender: "I am a russian military ship. I suggest you lay down your arms and surrender," the occupiers said twice. "russian warship, go … yourself" — the Ukrainian defenders answered in a language understandable to the occupiers. And it did leave, however, a little later. Part of the crew of the cruiser Moscow, disabled by the strike of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is currently feeding Black Sea gobies at the bottom of the sea.

10. Zmiinyi Island or Snake Island

Острів Зміїний 

The Snake Island in the Black Sea was under occupation for four months. The russists occupied it as a convenient bridgehead for an amphibious assault and brought a lot of military equipment there. At the end of June, russia left the island — it called it a "gesture of goodwill," which it apparently did in order to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain. But in fact, the Armed Forces of Ukraine drove the occupiers from the island and firmly established our Ukrainian flag there. The expulsion of the russian federation from this tiny piece of land has symbolic and military significance for Ukraine and a global one for the world. Why? Because that's when it became clear that it is possible to defeat russia, and we will do it!



The American HIMARS reactive artillery system changed the course of russia's war in Ukraine. Thanks to them, our soldiers began to feel more confident, and in just a couple of weeks, the enemy was deprived of dozens of warehouses and bases. The main impact of HIMARS and its analogs on the war is precise strikes on objects of critical importance to the russians, which were previously inaccessible to the Armed Forces. Ideally, we need many more HIMARS than the allies have so far provided us, but even the ones we have now make the occupiers shudder at the mere mention of this powerful weapon. Remember, russists, HIMARS never sleep!

12. Dog Patron

Пес Патрон

The famous Jack Russell Terrier named Patron has become the mascot of pyrotechnicians engaged in demining territories in the Chernihiv region. He helped Ukrainian rescuers clear hundreds of territories, thanks to which he became a real star of social networks, a hero of murals, and even received several world awards. And Patron is simply adored by Ukrainian children, and the dog is always happy to meet them.

13. Ukrainian tractor

Український трактор

A tractor pulling a tank has become one of the symbols of the indomitability of the Ukrainian people, as well as an Internet meme. Even at the beginning of the war, there were many videos of Ukrainian farmers pulling enemy tanks with tractors. In this way, Ukrainian agrarians have already towed dozens of units of a wide variety of trophy equipment — tanks, BMPs, rocket launchers, and tractors, even the pride of the russists army — the heavy flamethrower system "Sontsepek."

14. Марки "Укрпошти"


During the war, the number of philatelists increased dramatically in Ukraine. And all because Ukrposhta started to issue very cool and iconic patriotic stamps. Ukrposhta stamps have become charms, desirable gifts, and… a good investment for the future. Queues for them line up long before the start of sales. And how each subsequent brand will look is decided by the whole of Ukraine — every Ukrainian can vote for the options proposed by the operator through Diia.

Now Ukrposhta plans to produce stamps in NFT format as well.

15. "Cotton"


During the war, many neologisms were born among Ukrainians, with which they humorously Ukrainianize certain concepts. One of them, which invariably pleases and inspires Ukrainians, is the word "cotton." In the twisted language of russians, the explosion is "хлопок,"  which in Ukrainian is translated as the name of the fabric of plant origin – cotton. So now, on social networks, all sounds from explosions due to "smoking" at russian military facilities are called cotton. If you saw the label in the photo above and thought not about fabric care but about the defeat of russia, you are a Ukrainian.

16. Chornobaivka


The village of Chornobaivka in the Kherson region has forever entered the history of russia's war in Ukraine as a symbol of the impenetrable stupidity of the leadership of the russian army. Hoping that "the shell never hits twice," the russians repeatedly place a large amount of equipment at the Chornobaiv airfield, which is destroyed by the Armed Forces every time — along with personnel, command posts, and generals. Chornobaivka itself also has a hard time due to constant explosions. But the villagers are ready to watch the "series" about a place unfortunate for the occupiers with a feeling of hatred for the occupiers and faith in our victory together with all Ukrainians. Bread is baked in honor of the indomitable Chornobaivka, and once, the "Moscow" sausage changed its name to "Chornobaivska."

17. "I am in the kalidor (corridor)"

Many Ukrainians spend air alarms in the corridors. This place is most suitable for observing security measures in the apartment — two walls will be able to protect from projectile fragments. The mildly ironic "kalidor" appeared, obviously, as a phonetically more convenient option for pronunciation. And for some, these words remind of childhood. The enemy is trying to intimidate us, to drive us into shelters and "kalidors." Still, even there, Ukrainians lie down more comfortably and wait out the danger with relative comfort, humor, tea, and homemade cookies.

18. Pink panama

Рожева панамка

This headdress attracted the attention of millions and became a real hit of the summer of 2022. It was added to the avatars in the social networks of "Kyivstar," "Ukrzaliznytsia," Rozetka, and many other businesses as a sign of support for Ukraine and the Kalush Orchestra group, which won at Eurovision 2022. This victory was extremely necessary for the Ukrainians. And although the next Eurovision will not be held in Ukraine, but in our friendly Great Britain, the pink panama of Oleh Psyuk, the frontman of the group, together with the song Stefania became what united and inspired Ukrainians for the further fight.

19. Dog wearing a green scarf

Собачка в зеленій хустці

This dog, like Patron, is now known throughout Ukraine. It has become a star of social networks. Oleh Pereverzev's photo, in which grandmother Maria Yukhimivna from Gorenka, Buchanskyi district, pets her dog wrapped in a scarf, made it a symbol of care. The woman did not leave her Bonya when there was no place for the dog during the evacuation from under the shelling of the occupiers. She wrapped the dog in a scarf so it would not be afraid of explosions. However, it was very scary for her.

20. Hachiko from Makariv

Хатіко з Макарова

In the village of Makariv, Buchansky District, the Kyiv Region, they found an Akita-Inu dog waiting for its owner at the house door for almost a month. Unfortunately, the woman tragically died during the war unleashed by russia against Ukraine. After the village's liberation, volunteers tried to take the dog, but it did not agree to leave its post for any treats. However, the story of the faithful dog still had a happy ending. The new hostess learned about "Makariv Hachiko" from posts on social networks. The woman searched for a loyal dog, and when she found it, she sat down next to it and cried. The dog came up and licked away her tears. Thus began a new page of life. Now Rina (that's the dog's name) has a family and even a friend of the same breed.

21. Sunflower and its seeds

Соняшник та його насіння 

In February, a video went viral in which a resident of Henichesk asked the occupiers if they had managed to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so they would sprout in Ukrainian soil after their death. And then she reminded the occupiers that they had come to someone else's land and that "from this day on they are cursed." Now sunflowers grow so abundantly where the invaders killed by ZSU lie that it seems as if they really listened to the words of a resident of the Kherson region.

22. ANGY KREYDA song

The incantation song of the Rivne band "ANGY KREYDA" has collected almost 3.5 million views on the official YouTube page. No less — from other channels that picked up the composition. The text of the song is the words of all Ukrainian women, all Ukrainians, to the russian occupiers. To confirm this, Ukrainian girls took part in creating a unique "witch" calendar, the proceeds of which will go to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 12 women who changed their professions because of the war and became volunteers became the heroines of a photo shoot based on the song Vrazhe. Each girl chose 4 lines for the photo that she liked the most.

23. Crimean "strikes"


We have been waiting for this event since the beginning of the war. And finally, at the beginning of August, it happened: explosions rang out in Crimea, temporarily occupied by the russians, which meant that now the Armed Forces could easily hit enemy targets at long distances. The first "Crimean cotton" happened at the military airfield in Novofedorivka. And a week later, russian warehouses exploded in Dzhankoy and near Simferopol. Next, the most sacred building for russians is the Crimean Bridge. Run away, occupiers, while there is still time! And the picture above shows how the Midjourney neural network sees "cotton" in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

24. The Armed forces of Ukraine are our kittens

Зсу — наші котики 

Everyone loves cats. Combat operations in Ukraine gave birth to a whole cult of four-legged brothers in the Ukrainian army. Many units pick up wounded cats, take them out, feed them and consider them their mascots. In the dugouts, kitties catch rodents, remind soldiers of home comfort and even predict enemy fire. But now, "kittens" are called not only furry pets but also the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Behind this gentle name is sincere respect, attention, and love for our defenders. The desire to take care of them and support them in every way. To our joint Victory and — forever.


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