Business News

Ordinary people are flocking to defend Ukraine as Russia’s tensions escalate

Olga Salo arrived for the first military exercise in the pine forest outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv wearing a pink jacket and black jeans.

On a cold Saturday in December, as the world celebrates Christmas, a 39-year-old archaeologist joined forces with hundreds of civilians who volunteered to defend a Ukrainian house in the aftermath of the genocide. Russian Revolution.

Prospects and newcomers were provided with matching wooden tools. Skilled and military personnel, many of them armed with concealed weapons, carry guns.

“It’s important to plan and take action on the most difficult issues,” Salo said. “If we prepare, it will probably not happen. I don’t think the enemy would have attacked him if he had known that the army was here with a large army of civilians. ”

Volunteer action comes amid growing tensions over reports that Russia has recruited 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, sparking fears that Moscow is preparing to take over. As part of a concerted effort to tackle the problem, US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, spoke on the phone On Thursday, talks took place in January between Washington, Moscow and Nato forces.

Although Putin had previously denied any wrongdoing, he said last week he was ready to use “appropriate military tactics” and “to act aggressively in violent ways” if Ukraine and its allies ignored the “red lines” of Moscow. These include the suspension of military support in western Ukraine, the rejection of Kyiv’s bid to join Nato and the withdrawal of troops from Eastern Europe.

Salo was involved in a weekly exercise program across the country by the Territorial Defense Forces in Ukraine, a national paramilitary force set up a few years ago to train hundreds of thousands of temporary paramedics to assist in times of war. .

This year the course was open to recruits, the number of civilians responding to trade complaints across the country and the online forums for recruits to join and join the TDF.

Olga Salo, wearing a pink jacket, walking with Ukrainian civilians and security forces © Roman Olearchyk / FT

A December study by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found that in a country of 44m, 58 percent of men and about 13 percent of women were ready to take up arms to defend the country from Russian troops. About 17 percent of men and 25.5 percent of women were ready to fight other means, including demonstrations by terrorists.

“No one will greet them with flowers here. . . He will be greeted with bullets, “Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine’s defense chief, told the Financial Times.” There will be a complete denial. ”

The full-time Ukrainian army is much larger than Russia’s 1m strong army. The country has about 250,000 registered troops, most of them fighting Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas. Lacking weapons and delaying the shooting, Ukrainian troops lost their security when the conflict began when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Thousands of volunteer fighters – including many well-known ones football terrorists – played a very important role in the beginning of the war. Nearly eight years later, Ukraine reunited with the military, reorganizing its military with accurate weapons including busters against the Javelin tanks from the US and drones from Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of veterans of the armed forces who have fought in the war, which has killed more than 14,000 people, are well-prepared to be recruited.

Danilov urged Western diplomats to immediately provide full-time military personnel in the country, including landmines and aircraft, as a precautionary measure.

Russia needs to encourage an army of up to 500,000 to 600,000 to take over half of Ukraine, he said.

On Thursday night, Biden told Putin that the US and its allies were ready to respond “with conviction” if Russia attacked Ukraine.

TDF volunteers carrying wooden training rifles in the snow
TDF volunteers train outside Kyiv on December 25. Troops plan to form 5,000 troops in Ukraine alone © Sergei Supinsky / AFP via Getty Images

About 11,000 new TDF members are expected to join the Ukrainian military for a short period of time in the new year. An undisclosed number have already signed treaties to form the basis for a larger group to protect the most important weapons and industries, to carry out special missions and to act as partners in each of Russia’s occupied territories.

Others, including Salo, are being trained in cities across Ukraine and could be added to the force that Danilov said could be “tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands” and “millions of people who may have a desire to protect our country”.

In addition to the TDF, thousands of Ukrainians are trained by many non-governmental organizations. Some are imitating what came from the volunteer forces that started fighting in 2014.

Back in the pine forest outside Kyiv, recruits were drilled for hours by military trainers, as well as how they could use social media to stop the bleeding and the need for distance between security guards to reduce injuries if they were robbed. The explosion was heard in the distance, as the most advanced teams tried to drop bombs.

Vladislav, a 53-year-old automotive mechanic, said: “I feel I’m in danger,” says Vladislav, a car mechanic who enrolled a month earlier to upgrade his skills as a member of the Soviet army. “If we can escape, we will do everything we can to kill more of our enemies.”

Military action near Kyiv on Christmas Day
About 11,000 new TDF members are expected to join the Ukrainian military for the first time in 2022 © Sergei Supinsky / AFP via Getty Images.

One of the consultants said that new recruits may be ready to take on the important job after several weeks of training. He also said plans to include the creation of a 5,000-strong security force in Kyiv alone.

“They live here, they are trained here, they know the home environment and you should not take them to places they do not know,” said Andriy, an IT company and military officer who spends weekends training recruits. .

After hours of freezing cold as they tried to melt ice and learn to aim their guns, Salo said: “It’s only a matter of time before you stop walking.”

He was ready to join the TDF as he continued his lead role in the Kyiv Museum in Ukraine in 2014, which ousted Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, and hopes to set an example for friends, he said.

“The more registered,” he added, “the better we will be.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button