Yuri Zastavny, the owner of Pravda Brewery in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, has stopped filling his bottles with beer and has instead begun filling them with a brew of incendiary chemicals to make gas bombs, commonly known as “Molotov Cocktails.” The cocktails consist of a simple design, a glass bottle filled with burning gasoline that spreads a sheet of flame when broken on a hard surface.
Reuters tweeted a video of the Molotov cocktail assembly efforts on Monday. “A Ukrainian brewery has switched from making beer to producing Molotov cocktail petrol bombs to fight off Russian forces.”
The label applied to the Molotov cocktails features artwork depicting Putin and text that reportedly reads “Putin is a dickhead.”
In an interview with Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Monday night, Zastavny explained his decision to switch over to Molotov cocktail assembly, in light of Russia’s ongoing full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.
“Once we understand what can come through beer — because it’s no time for beer, we need to get other things sorted out,” Zastavny said. “We decided to make Molotov cocktails because we can use bottles, we can use the people, and it was a grassroots idea.”
In the video, brewery workers could be seen filling boxes with dozens of the Molotov cocktails. One brewery worker told Reuters that the brewery had already begun sending the cocktails to barricades in Lviv as well as the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
The firebombs can now be helpful in damaging armored vehicles like those Russia is using in Ukraine.
Molotov cocktails were first devised by Finnish soldiers fighting Soviet Russia during the First Finnish-Soviet War in 1939. The name was conceived as a reference to then-Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov who spread propaganda claiming that Russian bombing campaigns were actually airborne humanitarian food drops. The Finns said the Molotov cocktail was “a drink to go with” the non-existent Soviet food drops.
The Molotov cocktail is a design that has seen continued use against Russian invasion forces throughout history. In addition to its origin as a means for Finnish troops to attack Soviet invaders, the Washington Post reported the cocktails were also used by Hungarian dissidents who resisted a Soviet Russian invasion in 1956.
Ukrainians have also had some practice in recent history with using Molotov cocktails during rioting in 2014 and 2015.
“We know how to make them stick; we know how to make them light very well,” Zastavny told Fox News. “And we can unite, together, our theory of brewing and chemistry with the practice of using that eight years ago.”
Zastavny also praised his fellow Ukrainians for contributing their own unique skillsets to Ukraine’s defenses.
“That’s exactly the spirit,” Zastavny said. “If you can brew, then you can make Molotov cocktails. And we are not very selective in bottles. So if you have bottles even from… brewers or wine or water or whatever, it all goes to a good purpose.”
The Molotov cocktails are just one of several ways Ukrainian civilians have already joined in resisting Ukrainian invaders. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have joined Ukraine’s volunteer Territorial Defense Forces and have been given weapons to assist Ukraine’s military in the fighting. Other, unarmed Ukrainians have also formed human roadblocks to stop Russian military convoys from moving throughout the country.