The one-minute video is a trailer-style sendup for the 1988 action film classic “Die Hard,” with Ukraine in the role of McClane, the hero NYPD cop played by Bruce Willis who single-handedly bests a gang of terrorists inside LA’s Nakatomi Plaza. Instead of fighting an evil criminal mastermind played by Alan Rickman, Ukraine is in a very real war with Russia, which invaded the country in February.
“This Christmas, Ukraine celebrates the festive tale of how an arrogant terrorist’s special military operation was thwarted by a scrappy underdog,” the video begins.
An underdog who wins against the bad guys. This is the kind of story we all enjoy.
Dedicated to all the die hards on the front line.
Ukraine will win!
Yippee Ki-Yay…! pic.twitter.com/JaZzqlOZA7
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) December 26, 2022
In a twist on an iconic scene from the movie, where Willis’ character scrawls “Now I have a machine gun – Ho Ho Ho,” on a dead terrorist’s sweatshirt, the Ukrainian video replaces the firearm reference with “HIMARS,” the acronym for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers the U.S. is supplying.
The video includes a clip of Willis as McClane crawling through ductwork before dropping explosives down an elevator shaft, then cuts to a real bomb going off in Ukraine.
“It was the perfect plan with nothing left to chance, until it all went wrong,” the narrator states in English. “The war he never wanted, is the one he can’t afford to lose. This Christmas, the age-old story of David and Goliath hits close to home.”
The defense ministry captioned the video with the movie-style tagline, minus McClane’s famous expletive: “An underdog who wins against the bad guys. This is the kind of story we all enjoy.
“Dedicated to all the die hards on the front line. Ukraine will win! Yippee Ki-Yay…!”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier this month was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, visited the U.S. last week to ask for more aid. Congress and the Biden administration obliged him with a $45 billion package, bringing to $100 billion the amount of cash and aid the U.S. has given Ukraine.