Ukraine’s Civilians taking up Arms

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As tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border rise, Ukrainian civilians are taking up arms and training to prepare for the worst case scenario.

  • Russian troop build up along the Ukrainian border has split wide open the possibility of an invasion, as has been confirmed by US President Joe Biden himself.
  • Ukrainian citizens have been witness to a conflict with Russia not long ago, when in 2014, Russian troops invaded and then annexed Crimean Peninsula.
  • This time, a lot of civilians want to assist the Ukrainian military if Russia decides to invade. Many citizens with no military background are being trained by NGOs and ex-military personnel.
  • NGOs training citizens have to be registered with the Ukrainian government and participants have to undergo background checks.
  • From 1 Jan, Ukraine has also passed a law that aims to impose a structure, military control and a chain of command on civilians who are undergoing training to fight Russian invasion.
  • In Mariupol, located on the eastern border of Ukraine, ceasefire violations with pro-Russia separatist groups have already been registered.
  • Ukrainian authorities are playing down the war rhetoric. In many parts of Ukraine, civilians are going about their lives as usual, but are also hoping there aren’t any military conflicts.
  • In this reading, we take a look at the on-ground situation from the perspective of citizens preparing for war and how things are playing out in some key border areas of Ukraine.
Financial Times
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