How has Ukraine stood its ground against Russia’s larger force? Part of the answer is that the smaller country has a strong civil society, notes Jillian Kay Melchior. Russia has deliberately slaughtered Ukrainian civilians, including by bombing apartment buildings, medical facilities and shelters where children sought refuge. Ukrainians responded with volunteer efforts that have made important contributions to the country’s defense, she writes for The Wall Street Journal:
When Russian troops were massing across the border, Ukrainian civilians met during weekends to learn how to administer battlefield first aid, how to handle a weapon and other basic wartime skills. Many have joined the fight as part of the Territorial Defense, where they are “a great help to the regular military,” former Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk says. With only “very basic training,” they have helped build barricades, patrol roads and territory, and even attack Russian convoys and capture enemy soldiers.
Ukrainians have spent the past eight years strengthening their ability to govern themselves, and a vibrant civil society is proving to be a significant advantage in the war against Russia, Melchior adds. RTWT
22-year-old 🇺🇦 Salome M. (above) is extraordinary, one of the many Ukrainian heroes fighting against the unspeakable horrors of the Russian invasion, notes communications specialist Sarah Gershman. #ukrainesolidarity #voicesofukraine #standwithukraine
— Democracy Digest (@demdigest) April 4, 2022