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07 Oct. 2023

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World Cotton Day: a new meaning of the holiday for Ukrainians in times of war

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World Cotton Day: a new meaning of the holiday for Ukrainians in times of war

On 7 October, the whole world celebrates Cotton Day, an important holiday for the global environment. However, Ukrainians have a very different attitude to the word 'cotton'. Learn more about successful cotton in russia

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On October 7, the whole world celebrates Cotton Day - a natural, environmentally friendly fabric fiber. This event was launched to highlight the importance of cotton and its positive impact on society, the economy and the environment.


However, for Ukrainians, "cotton" ("bavovna") is not about fabric at all. The meme that originated and spread massively during the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine completely replaced the mention of cotton as a fiber. In honor of the World Cotton Day, we remember the successful "bavovna" in the russian federation and in the occupied territories of Ukraine.


What is bavovna?


The meme first appeared on April 25, 2022, when there were explosions in a military unit and an oil depot in Bryansk, russia. Then one of the telegram channels translated the news with the help of a translator from russian sources. The russian government has instructed all its media outlets to refer to the explosions as "claps." (russian: хлопками). The russian word "хлопок" has a homograph - "cotton", which in Ukrainian means "бавовна" ("bavovna"). The online translator confused the russian homographs, which is why the text of the news article said that "before the fire started, a powerful sound was heard "bavovna". 


This text was mistakenly picked up by Ukrainian Twitter users and began to threaten residents of the russian Belgorod with future shelling. It was then that the term "bavovna" was first used in its new meaning.


Since then, explosions in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in russia have been called "bavovna" in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet.


Successful bavovna in Crimea


Explosions in the temporarily occupied Crimea are becoming more frequent. In recent months, "bavovna" occurs on the peninsula every 5-6 days on average.


At the moment, the most successful "bavovna" this fall is the attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. The attack took place on September 22, 2023. The occupiers traditionally began to fantasize that their air defense system had successfully shot down 5 missiles. However, a video that clearly shows the arrival of two rockets at the headquarters building and many photos with numerous destructions spread across the network. According to local residents, the fire was extinguished for about a day.


Also, on the night of September 21, the SBU together with the Ukrainian Navy attacked a military airfield in occupied Crimea. According to available information, at least 12 Su-24 and Su-30 combat aircraft, as well as Pantsir MANPADS, were based there. In addition, operators of Iranian Mojaher drones were trained at the airfield.


On September 13, 2023, explosions rang out at the russian ship repair plant "Sevmorzavod", which is also located in Sevastopol. On this day, the Ukrainian military managed to destroy the large landing ship "Minsk" and the diesel-electric submarine "Rostov-on-Don". The boats suffered significant damage and are unlikely to be repaired in the near future.


One of the main objectives of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remains the Crimean Bridge. Extremely powerful explosions were heard near the bridge on August 12, when monitoring groups reported an attack by unidentified drones. Heavy smoke was observed in the area of the bridge. Information spread about hitting one of the spans and a small ship nearby.


The road surface on the Crimean Bridge was significantly damaged during the "bavovna" on July 17, 2023. During this period, the movement of trains across the bridge was stopped, all cars were also turned back. Bus stations on the occupied peninsula have also suspended connections with russia. Due to damage to the coatings, for some time russian tourists left Crimea only through Mariupol. Subsequently, the SBU provided an official comment on this explosion. There they said that they would reveal the cause of the "bavovna" after Ukraine's victory in the war.

"Tired" of "bavovna" and the Chongar bridge. Propaganda media reported that the Armed Forces allegedly attacked the bridge with long-range Storm Shadow missiles.


In general, the main target of Ukrainian attacks are military bases and logistics centers of the occupiers on the Crimean peninsula. In 2023, "bavovna" occurred more than 10 times in Sevastopol, four times in Dzhankoya, three times in Feodosia and Yevpatoria, two times each in the Kirovsky District, Kozachi Bay, in Saki, on Cape Fiolent and at the airfield "Kacha" near Sevastopol, as well explosions were heard in the Nizhnyohirskyi, Krasnogvardiyskyi, and Bakhchysarai districts, in Balaklava, in the Old Crimea, on Cape Chersonese, in Perevalny, in Novofedorivka, and in Inkerman.


The target for the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Crimean Peninsula was a concentration of military equipment, oil depots, warships, bridges, border bases of the russians, railway tracks, combat helicopters, ammunition depots, airfields, personnel deployment sites, military units, an air defense base, the location of the base of the radio engineering detachment, etc.




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Explosions in the DPR and LPR


Attacks on the forces and infrastructure of the occupier were inflicted on the territory of the DPR and LPR. In particular, in Luhansk, it flew to the territory of the "Mashchinska" mine in the village of Yuvileyny, according to available information, enemy forces were stationed there. "Bavovna" was heard in the area of the former higher aviation school of navigators, near the "Polipak" enterprise, located on the territory of the former Machine-Building Plant, etc.


On July 28, 2023, an attack was made on the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the DPR. Judging by the photos and video from the scene, almost all the windows in the building were blown out as a result of the explosion. Its facade and cars located nearby were also partially damaged.


Subsequently, on September 18, an attack was made on the administration building of the "DPR" leader. She received minor damage.

They also reported on "bavovna" in occupied Donetsk: they hit the russian barracks and the so-called "DNR prosecutor's office".


Bavovna in russia


Russians also began to regularly wake up to explosions. During the summer of 2023, there were dozens of drone attacks on the territory of russia. Airfields, military facilities and even administrative offices in the capital of the russian federation were targeted by kamikaze drones. Rostov-on-Don, Taganrog, Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow are far from the entire list of russian cities where drones have begun to fly.


For example, only in the sky above Moscow and the region in the period from June 21 to August 23, flying objects were recorded as many as 14 times (actually once every 4.5 days). In addition to military facilities, Moscow City, a business district in the russian capital, was also targeted. Photos on social networks showed the damage to the building - broken windows and fire on several floors. It is known that the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the russian federation is located in this building, which oversees the production of russian reconnaissance and attack drones "Forpost". One of the publications published a photo of government documents that were carried out of "Moscow-City" by an explosive wave.


Drones of unknown origin successfully attacked an enterprise that produces microcircuits for Iskander missiles.

In Pskov, attacks were carried out on IL-76 transport sides.


A week earlier, drones landed at the airfield in Soltsy, where at least one Tu-22M3 long-range bomber, which was launching missiles at Ukrainian cities, burned down. After the drone strike, the enemy was forced to redeploy aircraft as far as possible from the Ukrainian border, which complicates the performance of combat tasks. The arrival of Diaghilev and Engels in December 2022 had the same effect.

According to the statistics of the russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, 83 explosions occurred in russia in 2022. This is a record number of explosions in the last 10 years. Data for 2023 are not yet known.


Crimea and other temporarily occupied Ukrainian regions are the territory of Ukraine, therefore the Armed Forces reserves the right to strike russian military facilities located in these regions, thereby disrupting the logistics of the russian army and bringing the deoccupation of the entire territory of Ukraine closer.


A positive trend is that "bavovna" is gradually moving to the territory of the russian federation, because the war must end in the country that started it.




Photo: Collage by Oleksandr Chepiga/LIGA.net


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