Ukrainian politicians take up arms against Russia

Ukrainian politicians are using weapons to help repel the Russian invasion.

“We act as a shield for Europe,” Ukrainian member of parliament Kira Rudik told CTV News’ Power Play channel on Monday. “If we fail, there will be no European Union.”

Rudik leads Ukraine’s liberal and pro-European Holos party, which is advocating full membership of the EU and NATO. A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a brutal attack on Ukraine, Rudik pick up an assault rifle.

“This is the first time in my life that I can hold a gun,” said Rudik from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. “I have not fired yet” [it] except for training, and I hope I never have to — but I need to know that I will stand ready to protect my family, my home, my city, and my country. ”

Ukraine’s military has distributed thousands of weapons to civilians, who are also preparing Molotov cocktails, tearing down road signs and even blocking the way of armored vehicles in an awe-inspiring display of protest that has hitherto been unleashed. still kept their powerful neighbor from taking over the country and Kyiv, a city of nearly three million people.

“This didn’t magically happen,” Rudik said. “It is the result of the continued resistance of armed Ukrainians and those who are now defending their city.”

For his part, Rudik has assembled a militia of MPs, party members and former soldiers in the war against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, which broke out in 2014.

The former tech executive spoke to Power Play as Russian forces are believed to be gathering outside Kyiv, for what many fear will be a fierce siege. Using the chaos of constant air strikes as a backstop, Rudik says Kyiv is currently being infiltrated by small groups of Russian soldiers probing the city’s defenses.

“That’s why the city needs resistance teams like I have assembled, and many others have assembled, who are armed and can go and check what’s going on, because Our army cannot close all the little doors that enter the city. what it looks like,” she explained.

Despite the outcry, Rudik said she still fears how far Russia’s nuclear-armed “dictator” will go to conquer her democratic country and destabilize the country. planet.

“He’s crazy and unpredictable,” she warned. “He’s like Hitler, but without the mustache.”

Lesia Vasylenko is also an MP for Ukraine’s small opposition Holos party, which won 20 out of 450 seats in Ukraine’s last election.

“I am one of those members of parliament who is always against the distribution of weapons to civilians,” Vasylenko told CTV News Channel from the outskirts of Kyiv on Monday. “But today I’m holding an AK-47.”

Vasylenko said that reports of Russian attacks on civilian targets such as schools, hospitals and homes only strengthen the resolve of Ukrainians to fight back.

“We are fighting for our freedom and we are fighting for our very existence, and I think it was a shock to the Russian military and it was a shock to the Russian president, ‘ said Vasylenko. “Russia must be stopped now, because otherwise they will continue and their aggression will not only reach Ukraine, but the whole of Eastern Europe and beyond.”

To Vasylenko, take the weapon defending Ukraine is her duty as an MP – and also a “necessity”.

“I have three children, I have two elderly parents – I have a lot to lose,” she said. “But I also have things to achieve. I must win my freedom and independence, as well as the freedom and independence for the future of my children. So this is why I hold the gun ready to use it, use it against the aggressor who is now raising the stakes and disrupting my country.”

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