Ukrainian soldiers posting TikTok-style dance videos are going viral – Insider

Across social media, videos showing what appear to be Ukrainian soldiers taking part in lighthearted trends and dances are going viral, drawing a mixed response. 
The most viral video in the genre appears to be a 23-second clip shared by the official Twitter account for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on December 5. It shows a person in military attire performing a dance in the snow while what sounds like gunshots could be heard in the background. The caption read, “Winter has never been an obstacle to a good mood,” and it had more than 5 million views.
The same account had previously shared a 21-second clip of a soldier dancing on the hood of what appeared to be a military vehicle, which was viewed over 285,000 times, and included the caption, “Morale is high.” 
The videos have received a mixed reaction from Twitter commenters, some of whom expressed exasperation with the soldiers.
“What is the point of these dancing videos,” one comment with over 1,400 likes said. “War is hell, soldiers in trenches are freezing to death and most likely are not thinking about pikachu dance. If I were on the front lines seeing this I would be pissed.”
But another commenter with over 700 likes came to their defense. “Maybe, just maybe, it is to help cope with that hell.” 
One Twitter user wrote, “For those of you who think this is bad: Not sure if you’ve ever been in a combat zone, but I have… people do things to have some semblance of fun, joy, and normalcy when we could.”
In the comments, some Twitter users also shared older footage of soldiers dancing and photos of soldiers engaging in “silliness in WW2” in response to the dancing video.
Similar videos have also circulated on TikTok, although they don’t appear to have been posted by official accounts. 
One user who goes by @diyak_yuriy has posted three videos in the past month showing a person dressed in what appears to be a Ukrainian military uniform. The most recent, posted on November 27 and December 2, show the person dancing to trending sounds and have received 2 million views combined.
Diyak Yuiry, the 24-year-old dancer behind the account, told Insider he’s been in the military for more than three year,s and he was “very grateful to everyone” who watched his TikTok and left comments. “I think this is a positive moment,” he said. “The situation in our country is such that such moments are special.”
A similar video posted on December 5 by the account @military_dancer also appeared to show a Ukrainian soldier performing a dance tren, and was viewed over 131,000 times.
Viewers seemed to have a more positive response on TikTok. One comment with over 1,800 likes said, “Damn! These Ukrainians do have a sense of humor. I’m rooting for you,” while a comment with over 200 likes said, “You can’t break a brave soldier’s spirit. Keep on dancing.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, but Vladimir Putin’s troops have since lost half more than half the territory they had initially gained, the BBC reported in November. 
Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure was damaged or destroyed as a result of attacks from Russia, which caused a “devastating energy crisis,” according to Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Business Insider reported. “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” Kluge said.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.
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