in Lviv, civilians are trained in the use of weapons

in Lviv civilians are trained in the use of weapons

While the Ukrainian army needs to replenish the front, finding volunteers is not easy after two years of a bloody war. Throughout the country, associations offer training sessions in the handling of weapons and war medicine for civilians, men and women.

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From our special correspondents in Lviv,

Under the supervision of an instructor in fatigues, a veteran of the Donbass war, young people practice using weapons on the ground floor in a municipal center of Lviv. Piano notes escape from the basement where young people are rehearsing a play.

The Prytoula Foundation, one of the country’s largest military aid organizations, organizes these training sessions. There you can learn to use a Kalashnikov, pilot a drone, or take a course on prisoners of war. “ The number of people who want to participate in our training sessions is growing. People are thinking about the future, they understand that we are in a difficult situation and they want to learn skills useful in times of war », Says Natalya Pipa, MP and head of the project in Lviv, while discussions on mobilization agitate society.

No one wants to die, but some have to go and fight »

We realize that our enemy is cruel, so we must be better prepared », Underlines the elected official. More than 2,800 people have already taken part in the Prytoula Foundation’s training courses in the Lviv region, compared to nearly 40,000 across the country. “ Today, the question of mobilization is a sensitive issue. Many people try to escape by all means and only an active minority thinks about finding out about joining the army. “, notes a tourism student at the University of Lviv, originally from Mykolaiv, in the south ofUkrainewho does not wish to give his name.

He expects to be drafted within a few months, when he finishes his fourth year, so he has taken the lead. “ No one wants to die, but some people have to fight to ensure the existence of this country and this nation. », he said, before returning to the room where the trainees learn how to assemble and disassemble an automatic rifle.

Recruitment centers having been affected by corruption scandals and abuse of power, some volunteers prefer to turn to the units of their choice. “ I have chosen a unit that I am considering joining because I know that it is made up of professional soldiers and that they carry out their duty seriously “, affirms this geography student who is preparing to conclude a contract with the army by the fall of 2024. “ The soldiers are grateful to us. We have received feedback from those who joined the Ukrainian armed forces after our courses and they say they learned much more with us than in two months of military training. », adds Natalya Pipa.

Lower the conscription age to 25

The bill under discussion in parliament plans to lower the conscription age from 27 to 25. Many of the participants in this session are under 20 years old, which is still a few years before they consider going to fight on the front lines. A good half of the participants are young women, who are not affected by the mobilization.

Marta Peshko, 23, is coming here for the sixth time. Even if she does not plan to join the army in the coming months, this finance employee cannot help but think that the moment when she will have to go to war will come one day. “ Today, everyone needs to know how to use a gun, because my country has an existential problem with Russia that dates back to before I was born. », Says the young woman who expects the conflict with the big neighbor to last for a long time.

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