Wars are fought not only with soldiers and bullets but also with hearts and minds. If those could be translated into military victories, Ukraine would have defeated Russia already.
In Ukraine and throughout the world, official sanctions against and repudiations of Russian President Vladimir Putin because of his violent invasion of a sovereign country are also accompanied by remarkable and creative expressions of defiance. Landmarks in cities are illuminated with the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag, flights with Russian officials are rerouted, a boy keeps playing the piano in an area under attack, road signs in Ukraine are taken down, and groups of women are quietly assembling Molotov cocktails to defend their country.
Here are a few powerful reminders of resilience and creativity at work in the face of unprecedented aggression.
In #Ukraine, a boy plays the piano as #Russia attacks 😢😢😢 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/PgAv0XOFls
— Evita 🇵🇷 (@EvitaEsq) February 25, 2022
Meanwhile, some women in the city of Dnipro, in central Ukraine, and in Kyiv are preparing for the arrival of Russian troops.
In #Dnipro crowds of women spent Saturday making Molotov cocktails. Teachers, lawyers, housewives, all crouched on the grass, filling bottles. They told me they try not to think about what they’re doing. They didn’t choose this. But they have to be ready to defend their city pic.twitter.com/TSEKmEs2XG
— Sarah Rainsford (@sarahrainsford) February 26, 2022
Volunteers help make molotov cocktails in the basement of a bomb shelter on Saturday in Kyiv.https://t.co/l9jtDH9DRi
📷 Chris McGrath / Getty pic.twitter.com/0NWElWLCPS
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 26, 2022
At the Dubai tennis championship, Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has a message to the world.
'No war please' message on lens from Russian tennis star Rublev https://t.co/ZYNSu4O0Yj
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 26, 2022
Strangers helped a child cross the Hungarian border to find their mother.
REUNITED AT THE BORDER: A Ukrainian mother is seen crying as she embraces her son and the stranger who brought her kids across the border to Hungary on Saturday, after her husband was forced to hand over their children and stay in Ukraine to fight. pic.twitter.com/KMRUzQCc0T
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 26, 2022
It’s getting harder, no make that impossible, for Russian officials to travel.
Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia’s Duma was the first senior Russian official to encounter Europe's airspace bans on Russian plains after his flight had been turned back mid-flight by Sweden and then Finland.#Russia #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/GidrGPjVAU
— Andrew Jose (@realAndrewJose) February 26, 2022
It gets difficult to navigate when the highway signs are missing.
Ukraine has called on people to remove road signs in order to disorient Putin’s invasion force. The country’s highways agency went one better with this improvisation for Russian invaders:
“F*ck off, f*ck off again, f*ck off to back Russia” pic.twitter.com/EXtRBItC5D
— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) February 26, 2022
And all over the world, people are learning the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Don’t tell me it doesn’t change anything or call it “empty gestures.”Major cities of the world showing solidarity with #Ukraine matters. #UkraineUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/8RAZUUAONc
— Linda NYC2VT 🇺🇦 ⓥ🐖🐄🐓🐐🐘🐬🦃🐑 (@LindaVT) February 26, 2022