How sunflowers became a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance amid Russia’s invasion

South China Morning Post

Posted at Mar 01 2022 10:48 AM

People demonstrate against Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Toronto A woman holds sunflowers as she takes part in an anti-war protest, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2022. Chris Helgren, Reuters
People demonstrate against Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Toronto A woman holds sunflowers as she takes part in an anti-war protest, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 27, 2022. Chris Helgren, Reuters

Sunflowers have taken on a new, defiant meaning as Ukraine continues to fight against Russia's invasion.

Sunflowers were already Ukraine's national flower, but they emerged as a symbol of resistance after a widely shared video clip appeared to show a Ukrainian woman berating Russian soldiers, telling them to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so that flowers would grow after they died in battle.

The video, posted to Twitter by the news site UkraineWorld on Thursday, has been viewed over 8 million times.

"Take these seeds so sunflowers grow when you die here," the woman says to Russian soldiers, according to the BBC's translation.

"OK. This conversation won't lead to anything. Let's not make things worse," a Russian soldier says.

The woman continues, "Guys, put these seeds into your pockets. Take these seeds. You will die here with them. You've come to my land ... Do you understand? You're occupiers. You're enemies. And from now on, you're cursed."

John Oliver featured the viral clip on Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight.

"Good for her! Good for her!" Oliver said. "Let's just recognize for a second how ice cold that insult is. 'Take these seeds and put them in your pocket so sunflowers will grow when you die.' (...) That woman brought seeds to a gunfight and still comfortably won."

Protesters around the world have been photographed holding bouquets or wearing the flowers at rallies in support of Ukraine.

Activists such as David Hogg are also adding sunflower emojis in their Twitter bios.

In the UK, London's Russian embassy was covered in graffiti, signs, and sunflower drawings.

Citing Ukraine's interior ministry, Associated Press reported on Sunday that 352 Ukrainians have died during Russia's invasion of the country.

The death count includes 14 children.

The ministry said an additional 1,684 people - including 116 children - were wounded.

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine met for talks in Belarus on Monday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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