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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

79 year old Grandma trains to shoot - vows to protect Nation

Photos of a 79 year old - Valentyna Konstantynovska went viral a fortnight back .. .. at a time when it was speculated that a war could start between Soviet Union and Ukraine !   A war is never good for any Nation and people – thousands would get killed and Country could end up facing severe economic crisis – yet History is replete with wars, invasions, and more ! – reading media reports, one may never understand the background, the occurrence, more so, the impact !!

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine and Russia maintained close ties. In 1994, Ukraine agreed to abandon its nuclear arsenal by signing the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, on the condition that Russia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) would provide assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, then Prime Minister of Ukraine, was declared the winner of the Ukrainian presidential election, despite allegations of vote-rigging by election observers. The results caused a public outcry in support of the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, and widespread peaceful protests challenged the outcome in what became known as the Orange Revolution.

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, marking an escalation to a conflict that began in 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Russia had annexed Crimea and Russian-backed separatist forces had seized part of the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, leading to an eight-year war in the region. It perhaps is the largest conventional warfare attack in Europe since World War II.  Fortunately, there has not been much of International repercussions in the sense that countries have not teamed up causing escalation.

On 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognised the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, two self-proclaimed states controlled by pro-Russian forces in the Donbas.The following day, Russia's Federation Council unanimously authorised Putin to use military force outside Russia's borders, and Russia openly sent troops into the breakaway territories. On 24th February, Putin announced a "special military operation"in eastern Ukraine; minutes later, missiles began to hit locations across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv. The invasion saw new sanctions imposed on Russia, triggering a financial crisis.

With the crisis brewing and the possibility of a military conflict becoming more real, by mid-Feb 2022, photos of a 79-year-old great-grandmother taking  part in civilian combat training in Ukraine went viral and was flooded with praise as  Ukraine braced itself for invasion from Russia.Valentyna Konstantynovska was taught how to use an AK-47 assault rifle by the country's national guard in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.  

She was shown how to use the gun by the Special Forces Unit Azov — who have previously faced accusations from Western journalists that they are a neo-Nazi group — in a training exercise for civilians.It was one of several drills that were carried out across the country to build up a rag-tag army ahead of the 'imminent' invasion by Russian troops.Ukrainians described Ms Konstantynovska as a 'hero' for taking part in the drills, which have also seen children as young as four put through their paces.

Ms Konstantynovska  was taught how to use an AK-47 assault rifle by the the country's national guard in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, who released the photos too that motivated the Nation and its people.   Speaking during the exercise, she told an NBCNews reporter: 'Your mother would do it too.'She told local media: 'I am ready to shoot if something happens. I will defend my home, my city, my children. 'I will do this because I think I’m ready for it. I don't want to lose my country, my city.‘Ms Konstantynovska added: I underwent this training but I probably won't be a very valid soldier because my body doesn't serve me that much anymore. .. .. and the weapon is too heavy for me !  Neighbours described her as 'the example of Ukrainian' after she was pictured aiming down the sight of the gun while prone.

Ms Konstantynovska is not the only Ukrainian woman aiming to defend her country this week, with the country's deadliest female sniper Olena Bilozerska, 42, telling MailOnline she would be at the front lines again within hours to face the Russians.She is credited with at least 10 confirmed ‘kills’ in the trenches of Donbas and is part of the Ukrainian Marine Corps.Mrs Bilozerska said she has no qualms about any of the men she has killed or wounded in battle.‘When the enemy crawls towards our position to kill me, does he think if I have a husband, parents, or kids?’ she said.‘In real life, anyone who thinks along those lines in battle is already as good as dead.’The sniper, from Kyiv, is something of a celebrity in Ukraine, having written a best-selling book called ‘Diary of an Illegal Soldier’, referring to the fact that for the first few years of her service, volunteers like her were not technically allowed to fight on the front lines, but that law was changed in 2016.She was well-known even before the war as her oppositional journalism found her under threat of imprisonment by the old hardline regime of Viktor Yanukovych, deposed in the 2014 Maidan Revolution. She went on to explain that the Zbroyar Z-15 is a hunting rifle, but that she has no intentions of hunting.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Mar 2022. 

1 comment:

  1. The best traits are displayed in testing times and Konstantynovska stand as an example fir woman power that that age is just a number Sir