Ukrainians prepare for war

‘We are scared but we are ready,’ say civilians who are learning how to protect local neighborhoods in case Vladimir Putin actually orders Russian troops into Kyiv and other major cities



February 10, 2022 - 9:47 AM

A military instructor teaches civilians holding wooden replicas of Kalashnikov rifles, during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

NEAR KYIV, Ukraine — In a snow-covered forest one hour outside Kyiv, I am watching 250 Ukrainian civilians train to defend their capital if the Russians invade.

It’s hard to comprehend that in 2022 — not 1942 — the Kremlin has 120,000 troops poised to attack a neighboring democracy if the Ukrainian government won’t agree to accept permanent domination by Moscow.

Amazingly, no officials here or in Washington are yet certain whether Vladimir Putin is pulling an elaborate blackmail scheme to press the West into foregoing future ties with Ukraine, is preparing for a ground war, or is planning something in between.

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