While thousands of Ukrainians flee from the invading forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military continues to face determined resistance; often from unlikely sources.
Reports continue to come in updating the situation on the ground in the capital city of Kyiv where 15,000 troops are said to be descending via a 40-mile-long convoy. The imminent nature of this threat has motivated many who had remained to try and escape the city before it is too late.
The dire warning from the Russian defense ministry urging Ukrainians to “leave their homes” might not be enough to deter the more stalwart citizens like Raisa Smatko.
Smatko, a retired economist and grandmother, has reportedly dedicated her time to aid her fellow countrymen by making Molotov cocktails.
A grandmother and retired economist tells @clarissaward she learned how to make Molotov cocktails using Google. "Let those Russian sh*ts come here," she says. "We are ready to greet them." pic.twitter.com/t3URCCdkD6
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 28, 2022
CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward met with Smatko at her home in the eastern portion of Kyiv where she showed the reporter the staging and storage areas for her improvised weaponry.
Smatko, who has also taken time to collect supplies like sleeping bags and foodstuffs, told CNN that she is ready to fight. “Let those Russian sh*ts come here,” Smatko declared, “we’re ready to greet them.”
When asked how she learned how to make Molotov cocktails, Smatko answered, “Google helped.”
CNN's Clarissa Ward to Ukrainian woman minutes ago:
"How did you learn how to make Molotov cocktails?"
Woman: "Googled helped."
— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) February 28, 2022
Smatko is certain that Ukrainians will be able to push back against the Russian forces, stating, “We will beat them. They won’t come. I believe in our Ukraine. I believe in Ukrainian people.”
She is not the only grandmother in the war-torn nation to have made preparations for the invasion. The BBC reported in mid-February that Ukrainian civilians in Mariupol, a city located in the southeast of the country, now encircled by Russian forces, had begun taking part in basic weapons training.
Valentina Konstantinovska, a 78-year-old grandmother, was among those learning how to take up arms to defend their nation prior to the invasion.
“I am a very peaceful person and I can forgive a lot of things,” Konstantinovska said. “I can give away everything, but when something is taken against my will, when an invader comes, I will resist and I will be furious.”
At the time, it was still unclear if the Russian forces would invade, but some Ukrainians chose to prepare instead of sitting idly by to await an attack. The citizens in the video were being trained by the Azov brigade, considered a far-right group of the Ukrainian National Guard.
Now that the invasion has been underway for almost a week, Ukraine remains in a state of martial law with nightly curfews. All males between 18-60 are expected to stand and fight, and civilians who have prepared like Smatko and Konstantinovska have proven invaluable for the resistance against the staged assault from Moscow.
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