Civilians in the line of fire: How do Ukrainians prepare for a possible war?

Marta, who works for an international company specializing in clinical research in Ukraine, is one of the Ukrainian women who have been keen to take part in the government-backed grassroots preparation efforts, to face threats and potential war.

Media reports quoted her as saying: “I do not want war or fighting. I am a civilian woman, but I want to be ready.”

Civilians in Ukraine entered the front line with Russian threats through “civil defense” courses, which many have undergone over the past weeks, engaging in “regional defense units” that were formed in 2014, and include reservists, veterans and volunteer groups of civilians.

In parallel, popular preparations are also emerging, especially in terms of preventive measures related to protecting oneself and property in the event of war, through awareness-raising efforts about the tools and methods of self-protection in times of crisis, with the media in Kiev providing advice to civilians to deal in such crises.

Civil defense training centers have been set up throughout Ukraine, during which volunteers are taught how to “professional repel the aggressor”, as part of a campaign under the slogan “Don’t be alarmed. Get ready.”

The law of “National Resistance” in Ukraine entered into force in early 2022, and allows the recruitment of the Popular Defense Forces to protect the country.

The exercises include people of different categories, between academics, businessmen, marketers, as well as students and parents, according to the Ukrainian newspaper, “Liga”, which indicated in a report that “participation in the defense is completely voluntary, while there are restrictions on age, as those who are among the 18 and 60 years old, pass special interviews and medical committees.

Those with medical conditions, as well as those who have more than two convictions or a conviction for a serious crime, are denied participation.

Conducted by professional instructors with combat experience, the training includes a set of basic tasks, including the basics of medical care, radio communications, security from mines and explosives, as well as individual combat skills and rules for handling weapons, as well as the basics of home care, and familiarization with the contents of the first aid kit. Military primary.

Ukrainian reports highlighted the voluntary women’s participation in those trainings, at a time when many women were keen to participate with their families.

In an interview with “Sky News Arabia”, the editor-in-chief of the “Ukraine in Arabic” website, Muhammad Farajallah, commented on these exercises, saying: “The invaders usually take into account the armies that meet them, but if Russia invades Ukraine, it should take into account The people also build on that.”

Farajallah added that “people are not defeated, and from this standpoint, the exercises that are carried out under the supervision and management of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry,” pointing out that “there is an interest in the participation of civilians from different sects in these events on Saturdays and Sundays of every week, which are the courses The likes of which we have never seen before in Ukraine.”

The source explains that “the exercises include methods of popular resistance against any aggression, and therefore the Russians must defeat the people and the people will not be defeated,” according to his expression.

At a time when thousands of people have registered online as volunteers for the regional defense forces (according to Sergey Vishnevsky, one of the trainers involved), Ukrainians have been circulating on social media platforms encouraging calls for these volunteer efforts.

“Today all Ukrainians should remember their military and combat skills. Ukraine is above all. Freedom is our religion,” wrote one of the commentators, a lawyer named Gurhol, referring to the participation of a group of different disciplines in civil defense exercises.

A few days ago, the right-wing “National Legion” party in Kiev organized military exercises for its elements, to confront any possible Russian invasion.

On the other hand, some people were concerned about the arming of popular groups, and the repercussions of this on the possibility of crime spreading in society.

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