Budya used to organize cultural events in a community center in northern Kyiv. He now works 12 hours a day making giant anti-tank barriers known as “hedgehogs” to stop tanks. It is another example of how Ukrainian civilians have supported the troops as they try to hold off Russia’s advance.
“We work from 8 am to 8 pm, every day, without breaks. Since the beginning of the war, we have made 150 anti-tank barriers. We worked at the shipyard and a nearby boat factory was providing us with a lot of materials. We also started making jackets. Bulletproof We are coordinating with NGOs across Europe for supplies and support.
Factory artists making anti-tank barriers © Kosmos Tabir Volunteers with anti-tank barriers © Kosmos Tabir
Anti-tank hedgehogs can now be seen in the heart of Kyiv, Central Independence Square and Khreshchatyk Street.
Photo: Ilya Ponomarenko/Kyiv Independent pic.twitter.com/iayIXnMrsJ
– KyivIndependent March 3, 2022 “Everyone does whatever they can to defend our city, our country” Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, starting a war that, for some Ukrainians, felt unbearable until the first explosions broke off. Resistance efforts were immediate.
On February 25, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged citizens across the country to mobilize against the all-out Russian invasion. Thousands of people lined up to join the army.
Meanwhile, ordinary citizens were required to take up arms to defend their cities. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense encouraged residents of a suburb of Kyiv to “make Molotov cocktails” and “destroy the occupier”.
Analysts say the Russian military may have been surprised by the strong Ukrainian resistance. Bodia told us that everyone was involved in the war effort.
Children, from the age of seven, are busy making Molotov cocktails. Old women and restaurants cook food for soldiers. Civilians register to fight. Everyone is involved, and they are doing what they can to help, to defend our city, our country.
‘The Russians can arrive at any moment’ With the invasion now entering its second week, Russian troops and tanks are still outside the capital, though perhaps not for long.
The situation in Kyiv has been calm for the past few days, a mixture of silence and sirens, with explosions every hour or so. We know the Russians could arrive at any moment, but we don’t know when. So we are preparing to fight.
When we go out to buy more minerals, we see huge lines in front of every store and drugstore. Checkpoints are everywhere. This is a capital, usually full of life, but now it feels dead.
The situation in Kyiv is deteriorating, stores are quickly running out of supplies and civilians are now forced to queue for hours to get bread pic.twitter.com/UVX75nrb0h
– Oz Katerji (OzKaterji) March 1, 2022 ‘We want to stay here until we win’ While thousands of Kievans have packed their bags and left to seek safety elsewhere, many, like Bodya, refuse to leave and vow to defend the capital.
If we want to leave Kyiv we can escape at any time. But we don’t want that. There are people here who need our help so we can’t leave. We want to stay here and defend our city until the last minute. until victory.
More than a million civilians have fled Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, the United Nations said.
Meanwhile, about 160,000 people in Ukraine who fled the war have been displaced within the country.
The European Union believes that this figure could rise to seven million and that 18 million Ukrainians will be affected by the war.