This is the Super Bonker 9000, a 2S7 Pion that’s been outfitted with North Atlantic Fella Organization (NAFO) memes and symbols. Soldiers in Ukraine revealed the Super Bonker 9000 to the world days before Ukraine’s Defense Department posted it thanks to the NAFO on Twitter.
“We usually express gratitude to our international partners for the security assistance,” Defense of Ukraine said on Twitter. “But today we want to give a shout-out to a unique entity - North Atlantic Fellas Organization #NAFO. Thanks for your fierce fight against the Kremlin's propaganda & trolls. We salute you, fellas!” The photo attached to the post was of a cartoon shiba inu basking in the glow of a freshly fired HIMARS.
NAFO is an unofficial army of shitposters who gathered together online to talk about Ukraine, fight back against Russian disinformation, and raise money to help Ukraine. Members of the group have spent the past few months trolling Russians online and donating to various Ukraine-backed charities, including St. Javelin and signmyrocket.com, which is how the Super Bonker 9000 came to be.Sign up for Motherboard’s daily newsletter for a regular dose of our original reporting, plus behind-the-scenes content about our biggest stories.Signmyrocket.com is the outgrowth of a fundraising drive started on Telegram by Ukrainian IT student Anton Sokolenko. He wanted to help the war effort and started enlisting soldiers to write messages on munitions. For a few hundred dollars, Sokolenko will have someone write a personal message on an artillery or tank shell and take a photo of it for you. He used the money to buy things like earplugs for soldiers and a car to ferry the wounded away from the front line.
Sokolenko’s was wildly successful, and a few other people in Ukraine have started to copy his model. According to his website, he’s raised almost $300,000 from almost 2,000 signs and purchased 29 cars, 15 drones, and 4 Starlinks. The more successful he was, the wilder stuff he could get personal messages on.Enter NAFO, who wanted to donate to Sokolenko. A group of the Fellas pooled money and delivered a set of designs they wanted emblazoned on the tank. They ran an online poll to see what would be written on the barrel. Super Bonker 9000!!! Defeated Super Bonk! Motherboard has been unable to verify the exact cost of the sponsorship.
Military shitposter, former U.S. Marine, and NAFO member @IamtheWarax told Motherboard he was happy to see Ukraine recognize the fellas online. “It's nice to know that our shitposting and fundraising is appreciated, but recognition and accolades aren't what we're looking for. “Most of the fellas are anonymous, after all,” he said. “This has always been about using humor to support Ukraine by raising money for their defense. And we'll continue to do that as long as we're able.”IamtheWarax said he didn’t have anything to do, personally, with Super Boker 9000 but that he “did think it was very funny to see a Ukrainian artillery unit post a photo of their artillery piece covered in fellas.”
The 2S7 Pion is a an artillery cannon fitted onto a modified Soviet-era tank chassis. The side of the tank is covered in NAFO memes, including the avatar of primary artist Kama_Kamilia. A giant sticker of a baseball bat is on the barrel. The words “NAFO-Article 69” are burned into the bat.“Imagine getting hit by a 203mm shell from the ‘Super Bonker 9000,’ open-source intelligence account OSINTtechnical said on Twitter.
Sokolenko is, once again, upping the ante. His latest project is getting someone to pay $30,000 for a chance to write something on the side of an Su-24 jet. NAFO, of course, is working on getting their own message on the side of a jet. Popular ideas right now are “Ghost of Kyiv” and “What air defense doing?”