Ukrainian children and grandmothers take up arms as fear of war with Russia grows

Ukrainian children and grandmothers are preparing for a possible Russian invasion by training in the use of firearms, alarming images show.

Tensions continue to grow as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border despite diplomatic efforts to prevent a potentially deadly conflict.

Ukrainians seem to be preparing for the worst, regardless of age or military experience.

A 79-year-old great-grandmother even took part in civilian combat training in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday.

Valentyna Konstantynovska was taught to use an AK-47 rifle by the country’s National Guard.

She said to a NBC news reporter during the exercise: “Your mother would do it too.

This little boy was seen holding a Kalashnikov

(AP)

“I read to shoot if something happens,” she told reporters. “I will defend my home, my city, my children.

“I’m going to do it because I think I’m ready for it. I don’t want to lose my country, my city.

But Ms Konstantynovska admitted: “I did this training but I probably won’t be an able-bodied soldier because my body doesn’t serve me so much anymore. And the weapon is too heavy for me.

Some residents even brought their children with them to learn how to load ammunition

(AP)

Members of the Ukrainian special forces unit trained residents in assembling and concealing a hun, loading ammunition and aiming at targets.

Some parents even brought their children to the training in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

Local resident Yelena Piddubna said: “Why did we come with my son? We want to know everything, and I want him to know how to do everything.

Ukrainians attend military training open to civilians organized by Right Sector activists in Kyiv

(EPA)

At another training session in Kyiv, Mariana Zhaglo, a 52-year-old marketing researcher, said she would do anything to defend her country.

The mother-of-three armed herself with a Zbroyar Z-15 rifle, helmet and camouflage gear.

The training comes as Western leaders try to defuse escalating tensions in Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is in Kiev today for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.

All manner of weapons were on display as civilians learned about weapons

(EPA)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned an invasion of Ukraine could take place within 48 hours as he said the region was entering a “very, very dangerous and difficult situation”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that diplomatic channels were still open, and the Kremlin said their concerns would be significantly eased if Ukraine backed down from its plans to join the NATO security alliance. NATO.

And Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee, urged Britons to leave Ukraine commercially while they still could due to the risk of a “imminent Russian invasion”.

A woman grabs an assault rifle

(AP)

Russia has accused the UK and US of a propaganda campaign and insisted it was ready to continue the talks.

The Prime Minister was being briefed on the latest intelligence from British spy chiefs and cut short a planned visit to northern England to lead a Cobra meeting on Tuesday.

During a visit to Rosyth shipyard in Scotland, he said: “It’s a very, very dangerous and difficult situation, we’re on the edge of a precipice but there’s still time for President Putin to take some step back. retreat.”

He called for more dialogue and urged Russia to avoid a “disastrous” invasion.

Reports based on US intelligence assessments have suggested an invasion could be launched as early as Wednesday.

Martin E. Berry