Lives have been forever altered for the people of Ukraine due to the current Russian invasion. However, individuals across the nation — soldiers and everyday citizens alike — have moved the world with displays of bravery and heroism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine last week, according to The New York Times. Since then the people of the country have rallied together to defend their homeland from their neighbors to the east. They’ve put up a brave fight and managed to hold the invading forces back from staking clear victories.

According to CNN, Russian forces have not been able to make the progress they likely hoped to in the invasion. That’s due in large part to the unshakable resolve and grit that they’ve encountered from Ukrainian citizens on the ground.

In the process of defending their freedom, they’ve put their daring and determination on display for the world stage. Moments of resistance both large and small are showing others what it means to be Ukrainian strong.

Below, these 12 moments of awe-inspiring resilience have gone viral on social media and have given hope to everyone across the globe.

  • 1

    Ukrainian Man Goes Viral for Removing Landmine From Road

    Upon encountering what appeared to be an anti-tank landmine in an undisclosed location, a Ukrainian man took it upon himself to remove it from the road and place it in a safer spot. Bare-handed and smoking a cigarette, he appeared unconcerned about putting himself at risk to protect others who may have been in danger. His calm heroism in the face of danger has inspired the masses.

  • 2

    Ukrainian Woman Gives Russian Soldiers Seeds So Sunflowers Will Grow When They Die

    One of the earliest viral videos to come out of the ongoing crisis was of a Ukrainian woman taking on a group of armed Russian soldiers in the street. She bravely urged them to fill their pockets with sunflower seeds so that Ukraine’s national flower would grow, literally, over their dead bodies. She courageously cursed out the invading army and stood up for her people in an unfathomably brave manner.

  • 3

    Ukrainian Soldiers on Snake Island Tell Russian Warship to Go ‘F--k Yourself’

    Upon being urged to surrender to invading Russian forces, 13 Ukrainian defenders on Snake Island refused to back down. “Russian warship, go f--k yourself,” one of the men could be heard saying in audio. Initial reports claimed that the men all died in the ensuing attack. However, CNN reports the heroes are alive and currently being held in Crimea.

  • 4

    Ukrainian Man Tries to Stop Russian Tank Using His Body

    One Ukrainian man used his body as a deterrent in an attempt to stop a Russian tank from moving further into his country. Video from the scene shows that he climbed on top of the tank (one of several that can be seen in the video) before kneeling down in front of it.

  • 5

    Ukrainian Cat Cafe Owners Stay Behind, Refuse to Leave Their Cats

    While many other businesses have shut down, a cat cafe in Lviv, Ukraine refused to shut its doors in the face of the Russian invasion. The husband and wife duo refused to abandon their feline companions, and have kept open to provide hope for patrons. They thanked all who had donated to them via a GoFundMe in a heartfelt post on Instagram. “Each of you personally not only bought food and peace for the cats, but also demonstrated the unity of nations in the fight against the aggressor,” they wrote.

  • 6

    Ukrainian Citizen Tries to Block Large Convoy of Russian Vehicles

    Another heroic Ukrainian man threw himself in front of the invading army. In a video that has done rounds on social media, the brave man can be seen attempting to stop trucks in a Russian convoy. Again, he was not deterred by the risk of great personal harm.

  • 7

    Ukrainian Soldier Sacrifices Himself While Blowing Up Bridge to Block Russian Forces

    We don’t know the name of every hero who appears on this list. However, we will never forget the name of Vitaliy Volodymyrovych Skakun. Skakun, a marine, gave up his life while blowing up a bridge to slow down encroaching Russian forces. His sacrifice provided others time to prepare and the opportunity to fight another day.

  • 8

    Ukrainian Man Offers to Tow Broken Down Russian Soldiers Back to Russia

    The ongoing crisis has made heroes out of far too many brave Ukrainians. It has also displayed their quick wit. One man offered to tow a broken down tank back to the Russian border after he encountered them on the road.

  • 9

    Ukrainian Woman Sings National Anthem While Cleaning Bombed Kyiv Apartment

    It’s impossible to imagine the full scope of the tragedy happening thousands of miles away from so many of us. However, the Ukrainian people have inspired the masses with their perseverance. One woman showcased both that and her national pride by singing the national anthem while sweeping up shattered glass from blown out windows in her mother’s Kyiv apartment. “Long live Ukraine,” she said as tidied up with steadfast courage.

  • 10

    Ukrainian Women Volunteers Make Nets & Gather Food for the Army

    Men and women across the country are doing what they can to protect their homeland during the invasion. A French newscast highlighted a group of Ukrainian women who stayed behind and volunteered their time to help create nets for the army. They’ve also gathered food to help support those who are fighting on the front lines to secure their freedom.

  • 11

    Ukrainian Parliament Member Kira Rudik Takes Up Arms to Defend Ukraine

    Ukrainian president Volodymry Zelenskyy and Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko have attracted media attention by joining arms with their people to defend their country on the front line. Parliament member Kira Rudik deserves the same amount of respect as she has done the same. She detailed the situation in an interview with CBC. “Nobody believed that we would stand up for so long,” she said about Kyiv’s bravery and resistance.

  • 12

    Ukrainian Father Bravely Sends His Family Away as He Stays to Fight

    Families have been ripped apart by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One moment that made that heartbreakingly clear was captured as a father said goodbye to his partner and child as he sent them away to safety while he stayed behind to fight for their homeland. The harrowing moment of their embrace is an image that will last long after the video has ended.

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