As millions of people in Ukraine fear for their lives amid the ongoing war, many civilians have picked up guns and even started making bombs to defend their nation against the Russian invasion. Anticipating an attack from Belarus, Ukrainians in Chortkiv, a medieval town located some 300 miles away from Kyiv, prepares for war instead of the town's 500th anniversary.
The civilians are busy planning on how to tackle the Russians. They are removing road signs, learning how to make bombs, and fire guns as they expect Russians will attack their city in the coming days.
The residents of Chortkiv are not the only example of how ordinary Ukrainians are volunteering to defend their nation against the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. "When I heard the explosions I decided that I am ready," said business manager Olena Sokolan, who received a rifle to help defend the capital. "I am adult woman, I am healthy and it's my responsibility," she added.
The members of various paramilitary groups and newly armed civilians are fighting under the loose command of the military under the name of 'Territorial Defense Forces'.
On February 25, an 80-year-old man tried to enlist in the Ukrainian army. The photo of the old man went viral on the internet instantly. Meanwhile, civilians, mostly women and children, have fled into neighboring countries as missiles rained down in Ukraine following Russian president Vladimir Putin declaring war, wherein over 350 civilians have already lost their lives so far.
What is Ukraine's DIY Army?
The residents of Chortkiv joining the Ukrainian soldiers in fighting the Russians have been dubbed a 'DIY army' for their actions. According to reports, the residents have smartly removed all road signs to confuse the Russian invaders, but that's not the only plan they have come up with. Their preparations go much further than that.
"We are getting ready to defend ourselves because we think there is a strong possibility that we will be attacked," said town mayor Volodymyr Shmatko. Moreover, police are teaching the residents to prepare Molotov cocktails, which they have renamed 'happiness cocktails.' residents are making the bombs using a variety of glass bottles, including beer, wine, and even oil bottles, according to Daily Mail.
"Ukraine will pay a high price for democracy, and we might not all survive. We did not want to fight, but we must keep the enemy off our land and make them leave us alone," a defiant Shmatko said.