The Ukrainian «Tank man», the man who reminds us of Tiananmen

Of Monica Ricci Sargentini

A video, shot in an unspecified place, shows a man who tries to block a convoy of Russian armored vehicles as happened in 1989 in Beijing

The video lasts 22 seconds. We see a Ukrainian in the middle of a road who, unarmed, tries to block a convoy of armored vehicles bearing the Z insignia, the ones the Russians use for troop recognition and to avoid friendly fire. Man stands in front of vehicles without fear. The tanks hesitate, try to avoid him, he chases them to stop them, waves his hand, maybe he swears something. In the background a woman’s voice is heard saying “don’t film it”.

The video, taken from a phone in an unspecified place, probably a road leading to Kiev, and published on Twitter, immediately went viral all over the world. The brave Ukrainian was renamed “tank man” because it recalls the Chinese citizen who, in his shirt sleeves, on June 5, 1989 stood in front of the column of armored vehicles heading towards Tiananmen Square. The image was taken by Jeff Widener, a photographer from theAssociated Pressfrom a balcony of the Beijing Hotel.

«The Ukrainian who tries to stop the military convoy is incredibly courageous Russian with his body just like he did on Tiananmen Square, ”chirped freelance journalist Henry Langston. “The Ukrainian tank man wow” was the comment of the Australian politician Drew Pavlou who compared the image to the most famous one of 32 years ago in Beijing

«All my respect for the Tank man 2.0 – tweeted another internet user -. This protester is crazy but he is magnificent ».

There have been many fearless Ukrainians these days. In another video, a woman puts sunflower seeds in the pocket of a Russian soldier: “They will grow when you die in our land,” she tells him.


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