How A Ukrainian Woman Used Pickled Tomatoes To Take Down A Drone

A woman in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was wielding a jar of pickled tomatoes when she brought down a Russian drone earlier this month, confirms a Ukrainian news site. Ever since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, many Ukrainians have been living in fear and uncertainty during this time of war. This particular woman, who is known as Elena, has been commended on Twitter for her quick thinking with the tomatoes. User @LilyinIndiana wrote, "The citizens of Kyiv are an inspiration. They are courageous and inventive."

Others were a little more focused on what exact type of pickles was inside the drone-striking jar. News outlets and social media users had previously reported that the container was filled with cucumbers, until Liubov Tsybulska clarified the object as pickled tomatoes in a post. Why the mixup? As one commenter said, it was "probably a slight loss in translation/culture. Western Europe hears 'pickle' and think cucumbers/gherkins. They forget that pickling is a preservation method applicable to many things."

Why Elena threw the jar of tomatoes

As clarified by Forbes, Elena was sitting down in her Kyiv home when she heard a nearby drone. She quickly reached under her chair for a jar of pickled plum tomatoes and threw it, knocking the broken drone from the air. According to Alyona's Cooking, pickled tomatoes make for a popular side or appetizer in Ukraine, and they are tangy and sweet. They are soaked in a drinkable brine, though it wasn't noted if Elena's jar contained any liquid.

So, what inspired Elena to throw the jar? She suspected that the machinery was being used "by looters looking for empty apartments to ransack," per Forbes. She told the Ukrainian publication that reported the story that her neighborhood has been quieter since the drone incident, but she and her family have had trouble sleeping and finding enough food and home supplies in stores. Her story has caused tomatoes to go trending on Twitter, as evidenced by the onslaught of tweets relating to the news in the past few days. One user, @FaganKara, wrote, "She and her pickles are heroes."