Ukrainian military go viral with before war photos in this holy man” trend

Members of Ukraine’s military have gone viral by showing how different their lives are now to before Russia brutally invaded the country.

The trend, started by volunteer medical instructor Maria Nazarova, saw fighters from Ukraine’s front lines reveal how dramatically their lives have changed since February 2022, with the caption for each post to social media starting with “This holy man…”

Maria went viral with her post, which read “This holy man is a bastard, this nit led his debaucherous life,” with the “nit” referring to the person she was before she began volunteering for Ukraine's military.

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Her post, at time of publication, has been seen by 3.3 million Twitter accounts so far.

Other frontline workers quickly joined in to highlight how much their lives had changed.

One soldier wrote on Twitter: “This holy man prays that the arrogant hipster can continue to be artistically debauched in theatres, museums and cinema.”

Another said: “This holy man breaks his knees in war so that this woman can go on her LGBT marches again.”

The defiant trend comes more than a year after Russia began its brutal invasion of Ukraine.

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An internal memo leaked in early May revealed that EU intelligence services believe that Ukraine has lost around 15,000 troops since February 2022.

Meanwhile, estimates from several sources, including the BBC, say that Russia has lost at least 55,000 troops in the same period.

Beyond the military, the UN said that, as of last week, nearly 24,000 civilians had been killed as a result of the conflict, but added that the actual numbers are likely to be “considerably higher.”

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The blood conflict is expected to escalate before the summer.

This week, the UK agreed to send Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250km (155 miles), which is the first known shipment of the weaponry that Kyiv has long sought from its allies.

Last week, meanwhile, the US agreed to train Ukrainian pilots on how to fly F-16 fighter jets, after spending months refusing to do so for fear of escalating the already bloody conflict.

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