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Occupied Yalta Yellow Ribbon
Part of Yellow Ribbon’s ElonWeAreHere flashmob. Credit: Yellow Ribbon/Telegram

To Elon Musk from occupied Ukraine: you don’t know our struggle

As a Ukrainian underground coordinator, I must refute Elon Musk’s claim that resistance has faded – nothing could be further from the truth.
To Elon Musk from occupied Ukraine: you don’t know our struggle
The coordinator of Yellow Ribbon, Ukraine’s largest non-violent resistance movement in Russian-occupied Ukraine and one of the recipients of the 2022 Sakharov Prize awarded to the Brave People of Ukraine, speaks up against Elon Musk’s recent gaffe. Due to safety reasons, the coordinator asked to remain unnamed.

Recently, Elon Musk stated that there is no resistance in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

This outraged us incredibly, as these words do not correspond to reality. Therefore, we contacted a number of activists with a proposal for a flashmob using the hashtag #ElonWeAreHere against the backdrop of recognizable locations in the temporarily occupied cities of Ukraine. We received photos from different cities: Yalta, Simferopol, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Makiivka, Luhansk, Horlivka.

All these photos are proof that Elon’s statement is unfounded.

Every day of the activists of the “Yellow Ribbon” movement is filled with struggle. We publish a huge number of resistance materials from residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Every tied ribbon, distributed patriotic poster, painted graffiti, burned newspaper of the occupiers is proof of the resistance of the residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, proof that we have not come to terms with the occupation.

I believe that Elon did not research this issue before commenting. Because if he had researched, he would have seen that there is both active guerrilla warfare and nonviolent resistance in the temporarily occupied territories. Our movement and many others are proof that the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine continue to fight and await the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

We want to tell Elon Musk that the resistance in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine plays a huge role in the war with the Russian Federation and will be one of the elements that will ensure Ukraine’s victory in this war.

For me, the resistance began in the first days of the full-scale invasion, but the idea of organizing people in the form of the “Yellow Ribbon” movement came closer to April. It all started with a Telegram channel calling on people to hang flags and yellow ribbons in crowded places to show the occupiers that they are not welcome in Kherson. Later, daily photo reports were published, explanations on how to fight the occupation regime.

Then came the realization that Kherson should not be limited to. I called acquaintances in Melitopol, other cities, told them to coordinate, develop the “Yellow Ribbon” movement in their cities.

We chose this color because at that time I just happened to have a lot of yellow tape at home, because my mother does decoupage and embroidery, and yellow is also a noticeable and accessible color for people.

Today, the movement has about 12,000 activists.

Therefore, even such a small element as a yellow ribbon can become a symbol of resistance in all temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Read more about Yellow Ribbon and other resistance movements in our article Missile strikes and spraypaint: how Ukraine’s resistance movement fights Russian occupation
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