Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has featured Australian actors, singers and iconic animals in a video praising the culture and thanking the nation for its military aid.
The 48-second video appeared on social media on Wednesday with the message: “Australia has become a major non-NATO supplier of military aid to Ukraine.”
Defence of Ukraine went on to say that “Australia is so far from Ukraine, yet is one of our closest partners. Our nations share a love of freedom and respect for the environment”.
Ending with: “Your weapons will help us with pest control of our fields. Thank you!”
But while the ‘thank you’ appeared to refer to the military Bushmaster personnel carriers the Australian government has committed to donating to war-torn Ukraine, it was the other Australian exports featured in the video that attracted most attention.
The video states that “the world culture has long been enriched by Australian exports”, featuring images of red kangaroos to a didgeridoo soundtrack.
It then launches into a montage of eclectic Australian icons including music artists Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave, the late art critic Robert Hughes, Steve Irwin, Dame Edna Everage, the late Shane Warne, children’s cartoon character Bluey, Russell Crowe and Paul Hogan’s Crocodile Dundee.
The video then transitions to footage of the Bushmaster carriers saying “Ukrainian culture is now being saved by [Australian exports]”.
The gushing expression of gratitude comes a day after Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles said Australia was looking for new ways to support Ukraine in repelling the Russian invasion.
“While Ukraine is a long way from Australia, we really do see that the principles which are at stake in the conflict – which is essentially that the global rules-based order that Australia stands for and helped build and protect – needs to be protected everywhere,” Mr Marles said.
Australia has already promised almost $300 million of assistance to Ukraine, including 40 Bushmaster carriers, 20 of which have already been delivered.
Ukraine Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, said Australia had been one of Ukraine’s key allies against Russian aggression.
“Australia is punching above its weight,” Mr Myroshnychenko told Sky News on Tuesday.
“There is a tradition of Australia standing up to the bullying behaviour, and Prime Minister Albanese understands it really well.”
Mr Myroshnychenko also urged Anthony Albanese to take up President Volodymyr Zelensky’s invitation to visit Ukraine during his ongoing trip to Europe, saying it would be a welcome “sign of solidarity”.
Mr Albanese has said he would need to consider advice and take into account security concerns before responding to the offer.