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As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ordered the mobilization of the military on Thursday, he also commanded all men between the ages of 18 and 60 to stay and fight, while handing out weapons to anyone who wants them as Russia invades the country.
“We have been left alone to defend our state,” President Zelenskyy told citizens in an address to the nation after midnight, according to DW.
“Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid,” he noted.
The Ukrainian leader vowed to continue fighting, saying that “a new iron curtain” was falling between Russia and the West.
(Video Credit: NBC News)
Ukraine’s state border guard service (DPSA) banned all men of fighting age from leaving the country as the war with Russia explodes. The military mobilization will be in place for the next 90 days during martial law which Zelenskyy declared on Thursday morning after the Russian invasion began. It orders the “conscription of conscripts, reservists for military service, their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” and other state security services, CNN reported.
“The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reports that due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, a certain category of citizens is temporarily restricted from leaving Ukraine,” the country’s interior ministry announced on Telegram Thursday just before midnight, according to Vice. “In particular, male citizens of Ukraine aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine. Such a rule will apply for the period of martial law. We ask citizens to take this information into account.”
Since martial law is now in effect, the military is in control and is enforcing the laws of Ukraine. Those violating the edict are subject to military tribunal during a time of war.
The ban on military-age men leaving the country is aimed at “guaranteeing Ukraine’s defense and the organization of timely mobilization,” DPSA announced. Ukraine’s president has also urged citizens who are willing to fight to step forward while the country’s defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, has called on anyone with a Ukrainian passport to enlist in the army, according to The New York Times.
Men aged 18-60 cannot leave the #Ukraine, they must stay behind and fight if called upon. Here’s a video of a dad saying goodbye to his daughter. He knows he may never see her again. These are the real stories. Human stories. The atrocities of war. pic.twitter.com/pdGpk7R7xm
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) February 25, 2022
We don't. His country was invaded. He's staying behind to fight. This is real life, not a Hollywood movie.
— Matthew Ridenhour (@mridenhour) February 24, 2022
“The enemy is attacking, but our army is indestructible,” Reznikov proclaimed. “Ukraine is moving into all-out defense mode.”
Early Friday morning, the Ukrainian interior ministry posted a statement to Telegram announcing that Ukrainian forces had destroyed more than 30 Russian tanks and more than 130 armored vehicles, as well as at least five aircraft and six helicopters. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence also claimed that Russia had lost about 800 soldiers. Numbers are impossible to verify at this point and the Russians are also claiming that they are winning as tanks roll into Kyiv and explosions were heard Friday morning.
“Our fighters persevered yesterday and made it clear to the enemy how Ukrainian lead tastes,” the interior ministry asserted. “For the last eight years, our military has been fighting for the future of all the Ukrainian people. Today is the moment when every Ukrainian who can protect his home must take up arms. Not just to help our soldiers, but to cleanse Ukraine of the enemy once and for all.”
“The mobilization will be held in all regions and the city of Kyiv!” he proclaimed.
One man told VICE World News that he understands why the government is banning men of fighting age from leaving, calling it the “logical thing to do.”
“We have a war on our hands,” he stated. “We need to mobilize in order to survive.”
Ukrainian men from abroad are now returning home to fight the Russians. An estimated 300,000 veterans of the nearly eight-year war in Donbas have also vowed to keep on fighting.
Stories are already flooding in of defiant Ukrainians standing against the communist Russians until the very end. Thirteen Ukrainian soldiers refused to surrender their island to a Russian warship and their final defiant message has gone viral.
The soldiers were defending the small island of Zmiinyi, dubbed “Snake Island,” located in the Black Sea. A Russian warship ordered them to lay down their arms and surrender peacefully which they refused to do.
“This is a Russian military ship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise, we will open fire on you,” the Russians reportedly ordered them via radio.
“Russian warship, go f*** yourself!” was the final defiant reply before the Russians opened fire.
A group of Ukrainian border guards were stationed on Snake Island, in the Black Sea south of Odessa, when a Russian warship ordered them to surrender under threat of attack.
Their response: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."
They held their ground. All 13 were killed. pic.twitter.com/GMRsXQRSX0
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) February 25, 2022
The UN Refugee Agency is reporting that more than 100,000 Ukrainians have fled the country so far as Russia advances, according to the Daily Mail.
Heart-wrenching pictures show women holding their babies and kissing their spouses goodbye before boarding a bus out of Kyiv on Thursday. The men are staying behind to fight and know they may never see their families again. Others are simply running for their lives.
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)
Many Ukrainians are sheltering in place as panic buying and gas shortages hit.
The war is already tearing families apart and ending the lives of those fighting for freedom.
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)
Zelenskyy reports that 137 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed with another 316 injured.
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