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Defending Kyiv

Defending Kyiv

Defending Kyiv

The residents are determined in defending Kyiv as the Russians encircle the city. Civilians volunteered to defend their city and helped construct defenses in the city. They are also the ones guarding these defenses.

Trenches stretch deep into the forests that surround the motorway from the south that leads towards Kyiv. Fallback positions that have been strengthened are prepared for whatever happens next. Huge metal anti-tank barriers called “the hedgehogs” because of their spiky design are set at regular intervals along the route. At each exit, makeshift blockades made of sandbags and large concrete blocks stand.

Many volunteers appear to be underdressed for the frigid temperatures. They dress casually, with huge jackets and sweatpants serving as an unofficial uniform. Their trousers are generally green, black, or camouflage patterned. These are not military camouflage, but civilian camouflage used for hunting.

Call of Duty

According to the chief of staff of the Ukrainian armed forces, about 40,000 volunteers joined the Territorial Defense Forces. This is only in the first two days after the invasion began. When authorities in Kyiv asked for volunteers and reservists to take up guns, 18,000 people responded.

There were so many who applied that the Territorial Defense Forces had to turn individuals away. Those who were unable to join the forces are assisting in other ways.

They’re constructing Molotov cocktails, stitching barrier camouflage netting, and handing out food, hot drinks, and smokes to the guards. In an attempt to confound invading soldiers, they are soliciting funds for the military, erecting extra roadblocks, and even painting over traffic signals.

They have answered the call of duty in many ways we could not imagine. These are people who were just a few weeks ago have normal lives. They used to go to work, they were regular people at the grocery, and they were with their families watching TV. The reality of war has dawned on them in a matter of days. They have proven their patriotism by simply answering the call. They have one purpose: defending Kyiv. Their strength inspires the world as we all watch what happens next.

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