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Basically, is the following a real exchange, down to the details? Reported on Twitter with 1.1M views:

Ukrainian woman confronts Russian soldiers in Henychesk, Kherson region. Asks them why they came to our land and urges to put sunflower seeds in their pockets [so that flowers would grow when they die on the Ukrainian land]

There's a video posted with that, but is there some kind of confirmation that is an exchange with a Russian soldier in the location claimed?

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  • Antoher video of what seems to be the same exchange, from the woman's own phone: twitter.com/the_ins_ru/status/1496857969723596810
    – Evargalo
    Feb 25 at 8:11
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    Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo (the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo) were a bunch of unarmed women whose husbands and/or children had been "disappeared" (people who were taken into custody, most likely tortured, and almost certainly killed and buried in mass graves or unceremoniously dropped into the ocean). Their protests in front of the Argentine capital building helped take down an Argentinian dictatorship in the early 1980s. What was a soldier to do then, or now in Ukraine? Shooting unarmed women would garner rather bad press. Feb 25 at 9:00
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    Is the notability here really based on "twitter views"?
    – pipe
    Feb 25 at 14:43
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    @DavidHammen: The MVD quickly hauls away such women in Russia proper. Just watch what happened at the recent anti-wars protests, e.g. aljazeera.com/gallery/2022/2/25/… I guess there weren't any MVD personnel on hand in the recently occupied territories, and the soldiers weren't prepared to deal with non-combatants in such a manner.
    – Fizz
    Feb 25 at 16:43
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    @pipe - if it's a large enough number I don't see why not. If a large number of people see it then it's likely that it will become widespread belief, and so should be challenged. I imagine there are many "legitimate" newspaper articles that don't get such circulation...
    – komodosp
    Feb 28 at 11:36

1 Answer 1

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If your question is to confirm whether the woman on the video actually asked the soldier to put seeds in his pockets so that when he's dead sunflowers will grow from his body, then the answer is yes, that's exactly what she did. If your question is to confirm whether the soldier is Russian, then the answer is also yes - that's exactly what he answers to the woman earlier in the exchange, which is captured in the video https://twitter.com/the_ins_ru/status/1496857969723596810 linked by @evargalo. The transcript of the video in https://imgur.com/gallery/po9CfV8 linked by @mast is nearly spot-on, I can tell that as a Ukrainian citizen born in Russia that's fluent in both languages. The relevant parts of the exchange, verbatim:

...

  • Woman (in Ukr.): "What exercises? You're what, Russians?"
  • Soldier: "Yes."
  • Woman: (in Ukr.) "What the f$$k are you doing here?"
  • Soldier: "Well, right now our conversation will not lead us anywhere..."
  • Woman: (in Rus.) "You're occupants, you're fascists, you came to our land, why the f$$k did you come to us with weapons? Take raw seeds put them in your pockets, so that sunflowers grow when you lie down here". ...

If your question is whether the video was filmed specifically in Henychesk, Kherson region - that I cannot confirm. What I can confirm is that this was definitely filmed somewhere where:

  • people are not happy to see Russian soldiers
  • people speak Ukrainian (woman in the beginning of the video @evargalo linked was speaking in Ukrainian until right before "you're occupants", at which point she switched to Russian with a fairly typical Ukrainian accent)
  • street layout, surrounding architecture, and pavement condition are very typical of post-Soviet countries
  • Russian soldiers wear white bands on arms and/or legs for identification

I can think of plenty places where the first point would be the case, fewer where second and third points would be the case, and I'm aware of only one place where the fourth point would be the case - Ukraine. The street layout is more typical of cities or at least sizeable towns rather than villages, but beyond that I'm unable to pinpoint specific location the video was made in - there are some buildings I do not recognize, and I can't seem to see anywhere any markers with any names.

One more data point - Russian soldier claimed they're doing military exercises. According to some reports (including the recordings of Russian soldiers who were captured by Ukrainians); many of the Russian soldiers during the invasion on February 24 2022 were not told they are going to war and instead were told this is all part of military exercises. Which, everything else aside, makes it highly likely the video is indeed from the early days of 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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