Ukraine Uses Die Hard In Defense Against Russia

Ukraine used Die Hard to showcase its new HIMARS weapon against Russia.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

ukraine die hard

It’s not every day that world news and entertainment news join together for a story that is so unexpected that it takes Twitter by storm. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has just posted a Christmas video on Twitter that likens Ukraine’s ongoing fight against Russia to John McClane’s fight against Hans Gruber in Die Hard. The video begins with the line, “This Christmas, Ukraine celebrates the festive story of how an arrogant terrorist’s special military operation was thwarted by a scrappy underdog.”

Ukraine uses Die Hard as a metaphor to show off its new weaponry: a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS, for short). They describe themselves as the underdog “who wins against the bad guys” and dedicate the video to “all the die-hards on the front line.”

In the edited movie trailer, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) is taking on the role of Russia as he is defeated by Bruce Willis’ John McClane (representing Ukraine in this version of Die Hard), who delivers his famous line “Welcome to the party, pal!” just when Gruber thinks he has it all sewn up.

Ukraine’s video includes a convincingly altered version of a famous Die Hard scene featuring a dead terrorist with a message written on his shirt. In the original film, the text reads “I now have a machine gun Ho-Ho-Ho,” but in Ukraine’s video, the shirt says “Now I have HIMARS Ho-Ho-Ho.”

ukraine die hard

According to Deadline, a HIMARS is a rocket launcher on a truck that weighs five tons and can fire long-range rockets guided by those who fire them. This is one of the most technologically advanced new weapons in the war against Ukraine, something that surely would have appealed to Die Hard’s McClane. 

Ukraine’s video doesn’t just compare the Russo-Ukrainian War to Die Hard, but also to a battle between David and Goliath. Ukrainians never wanted the war against the much bigger, seemingly more powerful country, but they showed up to fight and they have continued to fight for 10 months now. Weapons like HIMARS are keeping them in the game and keeping their fighting spirits up. 

This isn’t the first time that the Russian and Ukrainian conflict has crossed from newspaper articles into entertainment magazines, however. Back in May, former actor and current President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy quoted Apocalypse Now and other films when addressing the crowd at the Cannes Film Festival. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…” he said at one point.

Ukraine’s president’s connection of the war to pop culture may very well be a part of why it has stayed present in the minds of people all over the world even when it has been going on for almost a year. Many times, people tend to ignore terrible things that are happening in other countries, thinking that if it is happening far away, it has nothing to do with them. But Ukraine’s usage of things like Die Hard to bring the war into people’s homes on a regular basis keeps awareness alive and support incoming.

Ukraine is still confident that they will win the war and that they will make Die Hard’s McClane proud. “Ukraine will win!” the Ministry of Defense wrote in their tweet, “Yippee Ki-Yay…!”