Grannies armed with Molotov cocktails: Kyiv residents get ready for Russian troops
In this new dispatch from Kyiv, The Independent’s defence and security editor Kim Sengupta reports:
Galyna Kucherenko was bemoaning the shortages of essential products which have inevitably come with the war in Ukraine. She and her family were alright for food, and the building they lived in had a basement shelter for the nightly bombing, but the problem was the fuel.
Was she and her family trying to get out of Kyiv like so many others? I asked. “No” came the indignant reply. “We need them for making Molotov cocktails to welcome the Russians! We have most of the other ingredients like alcohol. But it is fuel, petrol that we are short of.”
With invading Russian forces close to surrounding the capital, and trying to seize territory across the country, the Ukrainian government has repeatedly urged citizens to help defend the homeland.
Citizen volunteers have been training on weekends for months. Laws were changed allowing them to keep high-calibre weapons at home. The president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who has remained in Kyiv, spurning Joe Biden’s offer to fly him and his family to safety, has announced a programme for residents to be armed, and 18,000 sub-machine guns and assault rifles have been pledged for distribution.
The government has also urged people to make and use Molotovs against the Russians.
Ms Kurcherenko, 72, a mother-of-four, and grandmother-of-three, is among those who have responded with alacrity to the request, as have her relations, friends and neighbours.
A group of them sat together on Saturday afternoon at the home of Ms Kucherenko’s son Oleksiy in a residential street in a quiet part of the city to plan their operation. They were armed with instructions from television and radio channels, as well as information gleaned from internet searches, on how to make the petrol bomb, and had some of the component parts.
You can read the full report here: