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Battlefield 2042 skin ‘unintentionally’ references Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, says EA

‘Little Green Man’ is being replaced with something else, says EA DICE

A Russian tank commander, brandishing an assault rifle, pops out of a turret hatch to order his forces to charge
The character in question, Pyotyr “Boris” Guskovsky, in concept art for Battlefield 2042.
Image: EA DICE/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

EA DICE will change a Battlefield 2042 character skin in the game’s next update, after a Ukrainian player pointed out it insensitively mentions the Russian occupation and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The skin is for Battlefield 2042’s Russian fighter, Boris Guskovsky, and it’s called “Little Green Man.” That is what the masked Russian soldiers in unmarked green uniforms and vehicles were called during the armed conflict leading to the annexation. Incidentally, the multiplayer-only Battlefield 2042’s lore involves a group of stateless fighters called “No-Pats.”

One Ukrainian player pointed this out to DICE on Twitter early Friday morning, taking umbrage with the casual usage of “Little Green Man.”

An official Battlefield Twitter account responded later that afternoon, saying the name “unintentionally references a real world issue.”

“Little Green Man” is still in the game for the time being; it’s unknown when the next patch will roll out.

Almost eight years ago, Russia seized control of Crimea, which is still internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine, and has been since that nation’s independence in 1991. The invasion and occupation began when “Little Green Men,” so-called because Russia initially denied they were its forces, took over airports and military bases in Crimea in February 2014.

Both Ukraine and the United Nations condemned the annexation as a violation of international law and several agreements regarding Ukraine’s borders. Russia was expelled from the Group of Eight and faced several rounds of sanctions over its belligerence, most recently from the U.S. in 2019.

Russian president Vladimir Putin initially claimed that the “Little Green Men” were pro-Russian, Crimean insurgents who wanted to separate their land and join with Russia. Though Putin later confirmed that Russian forces were present in Ukraine, Russia still claims it did not take Crimea from Ukraine, rather people there voted in a referendum to join the Russian federation. The U.N. does not recognize the legitimacy of that election.

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