The president of Ukraine has hailed the courage of Ukrainian farmers towing away abandoned Russian tanks, calling them the embattled country's "tractor troops".

Many photos and videos showing Ukrainian farmers towing Russian military equipment have gone viral on social media in recent weeks.

The military vehicles have usually been abandoned by Russian soldiers after breaking down or running out of fuel.

In the darkest of times, the farmers have inspired pride, as well as amusement, about their defiance.

South West Farmer: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Picture: Ukraine GovernmentPresident Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Picture: Ukraine Government

In a televised address on Sunday (March 27) President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about the unity that Ukraine people have.

He said: "Every day of our struggle for Ukraine, every manifestation of our resistance in all areas the occupiers have entered so far proves that Ukraine is a state full of life, which has historical roots and moral foundations throughout its territory.

"The answer to Russian troops will be one - hatred and contempt. And our Armed Forces of Ukraine will inevitably come.

"That is why ordinary Ukrainian peasants take captive the pilots of downed Russian planes that fall to our land.

"That is why our "tractor troops" - Ukrainian farmers - take Russian equipment in the fields and give it to our Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"In particular, the latest models that Russia has tried to keep secret.

"And now the occupiers leave them on our land and just run away..."

The amateur videos and photos of farmers towing Russian tanks and other armoured vehicles through fields and villages are seen to embody the courage, defiance and resourcefulness of the war torn country's people.

Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer shared such a video through his Twitter account.

Satirical memes are now going viral, imaginatively elevating the already brave farmers' actions to the epic.

Photos have been manipulated to show Ukrainian farmers towing Russian fighter jets, warships and even a nuclear submarine.

Even the Croatian Ministry of Defence has joined in with a photoshopped image.

South West Farmer: A doctored image showing a tractor towing a Russian jet. Picture: Croatia Ministry of DefenceA doctored image showing a tractor towing a Russian jet. Picture: Croatia Ministry of Defence

While false, these viral photos show how much admiration and respect the "tractor troops" are inspiring around the world.

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