World leaders have warned over the possibility of a Russian invasion in Ukraine “any time”, however, the fearless grandmothers, or else “Babushkas”, stand still in the city of Mariupol and prepare for battle. Posing lying on a matt with an AK-47, 79-year-old Valentyna Konstantynovska, says she does not intend to leave in the event of an invasion.
She said: “I love my city, I am not leaving. Putin can’t scare us off.
Yes, it’s terrifying, but we will stand for our Ukraine until the very end”.
The great-grandmother took part in a training organised by the Neo-Nazi movement, Azov, to teach the Mariupol’s residents how to defend themselves.
According to Al-Jazeera, the training offered basic lessons in first response medical care, survival and evacuation, weapons safety and how to shoot a weapon.
Konstantynovska said: “I’ve been dreaming since 2014 to learn to use a gun, but was told ‘babushka, you are too old for that. You will be knocked off your feet with the recoil’”.
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Another elderly female member, Liudmyla Smahlenko, 65, said she has developed strong feelings for the young men who fight.
She said: “We are already a babushka battalion.
“You try to help the soldiers and they become like your kids. Then one of them dies. A lot have gone now and it’s like your children dying every single time.
“I am ready to fight if Russia does invade, even if I have to get into a fistfight with them. They are not our brothers.”