Violinist and soldier Moisei Bondarenko performs on land taken back by Ukraine in September 2022

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A viral video on Twitter shows a Ukrainian soldier performing solo violin amid the ruins of Izyum, a city in the Khakiv Oblast region of eastern Ukraine.

The tweet, released by the the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine account on 3 January 2023, shows Ukrainian soldier Moisei Bondarenko playing his violin on a hilltop in Izyum. The city of Izyum was recaptured by the Ukrainian army from Russian troops on 14 September 2022. The Ukrainian flag was hoisted following the reclaim of land in the presence of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Twitter users took to the platform to express their support for the violinist and his message: ’I love that the violin [is] being played to mark important moments,’ said one commenter. Another said, ’These people continue to inspire me with their spirits in the face of bitter hell. I’m more impressed by the people of Ukraine than of any other country we’ve had a first hand view into their turmoil. We we would all be better to learn from their beautiful souls.’

As of November 2022, Ukraine had taken back 54 per cent of land occupied by Russian troops, according to the New York Times analysis of data provided by the Institute for the Study of War. While Russia continues to control areas in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army has reclaimed areas in the northeast and south of the country, including Sumy, Kharkiv and Kherson.