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Civilians take arms-crash-course to defend Ukraine

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Lviv: Ukrainian men who had never held a gun in their life before are getting trained in arms now, as the country is holding up its best against brutal Russian invasion, Reuters reported.

Bloggers, salesmen, IT experts, chefs, footballers etc., irrespective of their jobs, are taking arms to defend their country.

Andriy Senkiv, a pacifist, is training 30 other men in the western city of Lviv to handle an assault rifle. "It's very scary that, in the 21st century, skills that should have died out a long time ago are again in high demand," Senkiv said.

When he was asked whether he was ready to fight and kill Russian soldiers, Senkivce said he wouldn't be, but he would do it.

The training was held in a former Russian cultural centre which was used to screen propaganda movies during the Soviet era. Currently known as Warriors House, the building has walls hung with portraits of Ukrainian soldiers who fought separatists in the eastern Donbas region in 2014. Donbas separatists were supported by Russia.

The trainer here, Dennis Kohut, has fought in the Donbas conflict. He now works as a firefighter.

During the training, he crammed weeks' basic training into one Sunday. If even ten men trained under him picked up a gun and shot Russian soldiers, the training would be worth it, Kohut said.

He taught the group basics like standing correctly and not shooting oneself or own soldiers. The men were taught how to lie flat and protect heads from explosions.

One of the men, Yaroslav Durda, was hoping that diplomacy or a NATO no-fly zone might stop the Russian parties. Durda is an IT manager and has received some military training at University. But he added that if the war continued, he would leave his wife and 8-year-old daughter and go to the war front. "It's our land, and we have to protect it," he added.

According to the National Guard of Ukraine, more than 1,00,000 Ukrainian men have volunteered to fight since Russia started the invasion. Russia describes its offensive campaign as a "special military operation". It says that it has no plans to invade Ukraine. Ukraine, however, is seeking membership of NATO and the European Union.

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TAGS:Ukraine-Russia war
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