A video shows Russian soldiers laugh when a Ukrainian citizen cracks a joke, offering to “tow them back” over the border.
In the dashcam footage, recorded at an unknown location in Ukraine, a driver slows down to talk to a group of soldiers hanging out at the side of the road.
They are next to a stationary armoured vehicle and don’t appear like they will be moving any time soon.
According to native speakers, the driver asks: “Are you broken down?”
The Russians reply they are “waiting for diesel”, to which the driver cheekily quips: “I can tow you back to Russia!”
Laughing at the joke, the soldiers then ask for news about the progress of the war.
Before driving off, the driver tells them many Russian soldiers have surrendered and claims he spoke to troops all down the column and none of them know where they are going.
The video was shared by The Atlantic journalist Anne Applebaum, who speaks Russian and is the author of “Iron Curtain”, and “Red Famine”.
She commented: “Unreal. The Ukrainian asks the Russians, who have run out of fuel, if they want him to tow them back to Russia. They all laugh.”
The video has been watched more than 5million times and many viewers suggested a lot of the Russian soldiers might be reluctant to invade and fight their neighbours.
One user said: “The Russians surrender to the Ukrainians, it’s just that the soldiers don’t have a white flag to show this, and with such a conversation they show their surrender and that they are not dangerous.”
Another viewer said: “Weird seeing an interaction in the middle of a war going on more peacefully than a traffic stop in the US.”
Someone else wrote: “Russians and Ukrainians don’t generally have animosity towards each other. This is more of a Putin war, not a Russian war.”
Russia has still not taken the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and is making slower progress than its war chiefs anticipated.