A Ukrainian civilian caught viral attention on social media after a video circulated of him attempting to block an entire convoy of Russian armored vehicles from driving down a roadway in a moment some have compared the “Tank Man” at Tiananmen Square in China in 1989.
The incident reportedly took place either near the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv or the city of Kherson on Friday. In the video, the unidentified man appears to try to stop an entire column of Russian GAZ Tigr infantry mobility vehicles.
After one Russian Tigr got by, the civilian tried to stop two more Tigr vehicles that swerved around him and sped away. Not deterred, the civilian attempted to stop a fourth Tigr and a larger transport vehicle. As those vehicles passed the man jumped in front of a fifth Tigr, swinging his arm at the hood of the military vehicle.
As the man tried in vain to stop each individual Russian military vehicle, other civilians could be heard in the background shouting.
In the first few hours of its posting, the video had already been viewed more than 99,000 times in just one posting and has been shared hundreds of times.
Social media users were quick to draw comparisons between the Ukrainian civilian and another unidentified civilian who stood in the way of Chinese tanks outside Tiananmen Square in 1989.
On June 3, 1989, the Chinese government under the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent in military forces to disperse protesters that had occupied Tiananmen Square and raised demands for reforms in their country. By June 4, the CCP’s effort to drive off the protesters at Tiananmen Square saw Chinese troops killing many of the protesters. Estimates of the deaths at Tiananmen Square range from the hundreds to several thousand. On June 5, as Chinese tanks prepared to roll into Tiananmen Square, a still-unidentified Chinese civilian attempted to block the Chinese armored column. That man went on to be nicknamed “Tank Man.”
“Ukraine’s tank man,” one Twitter user said. “Pure courage.”
Another user retweeted the video of the Ukrainian civilian along with an iconic photo of the Tiananmen Square “Tank Man.”
“Tiananmen’s tank man in #Ukraine,” said one Twitter user.
“Man of the year,” another user tweeted.