A Well-Regulated Militia… Ukraine Gives Guns to Citizens ‘To Defend Our Country’

OBUKHIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 06: Civilians participate in a beginners combat and survival
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The Ukrainian government will give weapons ” to anyone who wants to defend the country”, it has said, in the aftermath of Russia expanding its war in the country’s eastern territory.

Amid reserve forces being mobilised and sent to fight the expanding Russian occupation of Ukraine’s eastern territories, the Kyiv government is taking steps to dramatically increase the supply of available fighters, promising to hand weapons to anyone willing to take up arms in defence of the nation. Joining the resistance is simple too, the government says — all you need is your passport and a willingness to fight.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made the call on Thursday morning, hours after Russia’s Putin announced his forces would be entering the Ukrainian territories it had declared to be independent republics, using the alleged widespread presence of neo-nazis in the region as a pretext for military action.

Addressing the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said: “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”

As Breitbart News has already reported, the Ukrainian armed forces have a considerable stockpile of weapons relative to its number of soldiers and comparatively low levels of legal civilian firearm ownership.

Government press agency Ukrinform followed up these remarks, quoting the President as having said that this process of giving out weapons to civilians to defend the nation had already commenced and would be extended to anyone to wants, and is able, to defend Ukraine.

Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov gave clear instructions for how citizens could get involved, saying the state had “simplified all procedures” and that volunteers need only take their passport. In return, he said: “We give weapons to all patriots who are without hesitation ready to use them against the enemy!”.

The general invitation for Ukrainians to take up arms to defend themselves from Russian aggression comes after weeks of developments leading to this point, including civilian volunteers receiving training from the nation’s Territorial Defence establishment, the army reserve. While pictures from these official training sessions have been flashed around the world, there has been controversy surrounding programmes conducted by extremist groups like the Azov Batallion, which gained some press interest for training a “babushka battalion”.

President Zelensky has locked horns with Azov groups in the past, demanding they surrender illegally held weapons in 2019.

Yesterday, Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill considerably liberalising ownership of firearms for civilians and making explicitly clear this change in law was in response to the dangers the country faced. As reported, the bill “establishes the basic rights and responsibilities of individuals”, liberalises ownership, but also “increases the responsibility for their illegal use”.

Civilian gun shops had sold out of some popular models such as AR-10 and AR-15 rifles this week.


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