Ukraine’s partisans have responded to recent comments from Elon Musk that there is no “significant” resistance movement in Russian-occupied areas of the country with a daring photo campaign titled “Elon We Are Here!”
Several photos – taken at great risk to those behind the camera – show small cards and pieces of paper with the message to the billionaire with an added line denoting the city it was taken.
One of the most striking shows a building in Yalta, in occupied Crimea, draped in Russian “Z” propaganda. The card in the photo declares: “Yalta is Ukraine!”
The campaign was organized by the Yellow Ribbon guerrilla movement which highlighted other examples from Melitopol, Mekeevka and Luhansk.
Recently @elonmusk stated there were no Ukrainian protests in the occupied territories. Our activists are everywhere on the ground - here in Melitopol, Yalta, Mekeevka, Luhansk. We protest! We resist! Join us! #ElonWeAreHere pic.twitter.com/iqKE9tPwzZ— Yellow Ribbon (@yellowribbonENG) November 2, 2023
A spokesperson for Yellow Ribbon, told Kyiv Post: “We want to say to Elon Musk that resistance in the temporarily occupied territories (TOT) of Ukraine plays a huge role in the war with the Russian Federation and will be one of the elements that will ensure the victory of Ukraine.
“The Yellow Ribbon movement is a symbol of non-violent resistance in the TOT of Ukraine, which is growing daily. Residents of the TOT did not accept the occupation, they resist and wait for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Last month Musk’s comments sparked a furious response from partisans who have been wreaking havoc behind enemy lines since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Speaking in an online discussion on X, the billionaire claimed that those currently living in occupied areas of Ukraine would actually “vote to be part of Russia.”
To back up his argument, he added: “One has to ask why there is not a significant insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
“If they are so against being part of Russia you would expect to see a significant insurgency and you just don’t see that.”
“So, I think the reality is at least some parts of eastern Ukraine and Crimea actually wish to be part of Russia,” he said.
As well as glossing over a years-long campaign to Russify areas of Ukraine occupied since 2014, Musk also appeared to ignore the overwhelming evidence of a significant partisan and insurgent movement that has only escalated since February of last year.
Kyiv Post reached out to several Ukrainian partisan groups at the time to ask them what they thought of Musk’s comments.
One, Mariupol Resistance, responded in no uncertain terms with a phrase that roughly translates into English as: “We would pull his eyes to his ass. No conversation. [Ми йому б глаз на дупу натягнули. Без розмов].”
Ukrainian resistance movements are highly active in Russian-occupied Ukraine and have scored numerous major successes in recent months.
Their activities are coordinated by a special branch of the Ukrainian military called the National Resistance Center (NRC), established in February 2022 in the early days of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Perhaps most notably, partisans played a key role in two devastating missile strikes on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) during September, recruiting Russian servicemen who then relayed information about the location of both ships and top BSF personnel.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter