Ground Report | New Delhi: Women take up arms; The women in Ukraine who took up arms to defeat Vladimir Putin yesterday told the tyrant: “You have killed our children, now you will pay.” In Lviv, in the far west, women like Kate Matchyshyn, 33, never dreamed of joining the army but are now learning basic weapons training, including how to shoot, reload and clean an AK-47.
Women take up arms
A couple of weeks ago, her main daily concern was building her massage therapy business, but now she has tried herself at a women-run center for veterans called Warriors House. She said, “Of course, I’m afraid of having to train to be able to kill someone.
“It’s a very difficult thing for a woman to kill and I never thought she would ever have to. But Russia has forced us to train for something so terrible. “The Russians are killing Ukrainian children so that Ukrainian women will do what they have to do to protect them.
“We are equal to women anywhere in the world. All women have a protective instinct towards children and we will show that every day. “Ukrainian women are strong, my main hobby, for example, is boxing, and Putin will find out how strong they are. He has killed our children and for that, we will make him pay.”
Valentyna Kostyantynovska’s name was unknown in Ukraine until a video of the 79-year-old volunteer learning to shoot a Kalashnikov went viral on social media. Kostyantynovska told Reuters she wanted to learn to shoot since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but she initially joined the Territorial Defense and began training as a medic.
“But then I saw my dream, the machine gun … and I started to learn how to use it,” she told the news. “I can’t do much, I can help the wounded… I’ll shoot and I know they’ll kill me… And that’s how it should be so that fewer young people die.”
Fighting to defend Ukraine
Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has stayed in the country with her husband, despite the danger. She has taken to social media to praise the courage of women who are fighting to defend Ukraine, as well as those who are volunteering in other ways or continuing their work to enable the country to function.
“Before the war (how scary and still unusual to say this), I once wrote that there are two million more women than men in Ukraine,” she wrote. “Just statistics. But now it’s taking on a whole new meaning. Because it means that our current resistance also has a particularly feminine face.”
Lenna, Rudik and Kostyantynovska are all volunteers, but the women have been part of the Ukrainian military for nearly three decades. Many more joined after 2014, a critical year in Ukraine’s history when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine and backed the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Two years after the annexation of Crimea, women were given the right to fight in combat, and in 2018, an expanded set of combat roles was opened up to women. Then, when the threat of war with Russia loomed, a new regulation came into force that stipulated that women between the ages of 18 and 60 who were fit for military service had to register to be mobilized in the event of a major war. That has happened now.
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