Chilling Reason Why 'Wolverines' Is Being Written On Destroyed Russian Tanks
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: @nolamwpeterson/Twitter
Photos of destroyed Russian tanks spray-painted with the word ‘Wolverines’ have begun surfacing from battlegrounds in and around Kyiv.
A group of Ukrainian civilian resistance fighters have adopted the title in reference to the 1984 anti-communist film Red Dawn.
The post-apocalyptic film, starring Patrick Swayze, focuses on a group of high school students turned guerilla fighters who battle against a fictional Soviet invasion of the US.
The ragtag group of fighters name themselves ‘The Wolverines’ in reference to their high school football team, and leave behind graffiti tags bearing their logo whenever they strike against the Russian forces occupying their hometown in Colorado.
Unsurprisingly, the film has been on a lot of people’s minds recently following the Russian invasion of Ukraine – some more than others – and over the past several weeks numerous photos of scorched Russian equipment bearing the tag have started to surface online.
On Friday, journalist Nolan Peterson posted a selfie of himself posing alongside a scuttled tank in Western Kyiv with the phrase scrawled prominently alongside the gun barrel.
Wolverines! — western Kyiv. pic.twitter.com/UurQf0Y6Mm— Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson) April 15, 2022
This follows sightings of at least two more destroyed tanks bearing the logo that have also been spotted in Kyiv suburbs in recent weeks.
The first image, shared by Ukrainian Oleg Tolmachev on Thursday – after Kyiv's forces returned to the suburbs outside the capital following Russia's retreat from the region – is believed to be part of a larger convoy that came under attack by Ukrainian artillery fire and was mostly destroyed.
More “Wolverines!” graffiti showing up in Ukraine, you’ve gotta love it! pic.twitter.com/WK7dzxhiCS— Andrew Nelson (@NinesNorth) April 17, 2022
A second tank – this one more damaged than the first – was also pictured on an unknown road running through a forest. It too had 'Wolverines' spray painted on it in white, this time on the turret.
What do you know, I drove past it, too. pic.twitter.com/E8SfRdL5zz— Oleg Tolmachev (@OTolmachev) April 7, 2022
But the logo is more than just a tongue-in-cheek reference to an old movie, as Gzero Media recently reported. As it transpires, the Wolverines are a real group of civilian fighters that have sprung up to defend their hometown from Russian invaders.
Headed by 61-year-old lawyer Daniel Bilak, the real Wolverines formed in the weeks prior to the Russian invasion and have been holding weekend military training sessions in the forests and fields outside of Kyiv.
Speaking a week or so after the fighting broke out, Bilak said the Wolverines were conducting night patrols to keep order and capture Russian personnel, and confirmed that the group was inspired by the heroes from Red Dawn.
“This is a crime against humanity. Putin and his gangster friends are all going to be on trial as war criminals,” Bilak said.
“Everything that I’ve worked to build is now being threatened, and that’s worth defending. The rights, and the great democracy – the vibrant dynamic democracy that Ukrainians have built is worth fighting for.
“We are fighting for every democratic country,” he says, “certainly in Europe and for democratic and European values.”
And despite the long odds, he says: “This is not a suicide mission.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information