Braced for a last stand


As Russian forces advance on the Ukrainian capital, the authorities are calling on the population to do everything they can to resist the invading troops.

Both the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Ministry are appealing to Kyiv residents to “inform us of troop movements, to make Molotov cocktails and neutralise the enemy”.

A leaflet with step-by step instructions of how to make petrol bombs has been posted on the Ministry of the Interior’s social media.

Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko says 18,000 machine guns “have been handed out in Kyiv to all volunteers, all those who want to defend our capital with weapons in their arms”.

They’ll be massacred.

A BBC team encounters some of the home guard.

As we head out on to the streets of Kyiv we find Ukrainian civilians now bearing arms to protect their country.

Men in trainers and jeans with rifles slung across their backs man checkpoints, and hidden in the trees on the side of the road are other young volunteers lying on the ground behind anti-tank weapons.

As we push on further we find professional soldiers braced for a last stand. They are accompanied by Ukrainian artillery and tanks facing the Russian position, less than 30km from the heart of the capital.

And we soon find signs of the battle drawing even nearer with a truck ablaze in the middle of the road.

Around the corner, my colleague Abdujalil Abdurasulov and I find Olena’s family, a group of five.

They’ve got a flat tyre at the worst possible time. They frantically try to change it as they bundle a baby into the back seat.

“We’re really afraid”, Olena’s mother tells us, before another loud bang silences everyone.


5 Responses to “Braced for a last stand”