A UKRAINIAN mum has taken up arms and is preparing for war as fears of an imminent Russian invasion grow.
Stunning Alisa has an office job in the capital – but spends her weekends donning camouflage and toting a gun as she trains for combat.
Mum-of-one Alisa is preparing for war[/caption]
The 38-year-old is part of a local territorial defence unit[/caption]
The 38-year-old joined a local territorial defence unit more than a year ago – but fears she may have to put her skills to the test in real war to protect her seven-year-old son.
“People die, that’s horrible. Even worse is when you think not just about your life but about the life of a seven-year-old child,” she told Reuters.
“I realise he can be hurt because of silliness of the neighbouring country, not a brother country anymore.”
Western nations have warned that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment — with more than 190,000 of its troops, plus around 10,000 from puppet state Belarus, massed near the border.
With the threat of war looming over, Alisa joins swarms of Ukrainian volunteers in training sessions each Saturday.
Alisa joined the territorial defence forces a year and a half ago, earlier than many. In January, as the Russian troops massed, the government said it wanted to build reserve battalions up into a corps of up to 130,000 people.
Most read in The Sun
Brits told ‘DON'T travel today’ as 400 homes evacuated in 87mph Storm Franklin
Rita Ora leads tributes as music mogul who helped launch Ed Sheeran dies aged 31
I bought a £91 Amazon returns box – I’m obsessed with my new branded bag
ON THIN ICE
Inside Dancing on Ice 'fix' row as stars' dance backgrounds revealed
Sick moment thug punches Phil Foden's mum in backstage brawl at Khan fight
I ordered a Hulk cake for my birthday – I’m fuming over what arrived
The mum-of-one began last weekend as she often does, putting on camouflage fatigues, taking one of her two small-calibre guns she keeps at home and heading to a training ground – a pine forest with sand dunes, an old railway and few abandoned construction sites.
Along with dozens of other volunteers, mostly men in their late 30s and 40s with civilian jobs, she then spent seven hours either with her weapon on the ground or on guard as a part of a small patrol tasked to protect a concrete building from enemy saboteurs.
She said the fact she has at least basic training is some comfort.
“If, God forbid, a war starts, I know how to move from an unsafe point A to a safe point B,” Alisa added.
“I understand how to do if I’m under fire. I know how to help Timur, friends, neighbours if they are caught in fire.”
Despite having a busy job as a media relations specialist at an organisation that works in cyber security, Alisa is determined to not skip any training sessions.
“If we had peace time I would miss training if I was tired but now I make myself get up early for a session because now it’s needed more than ever,” she said.
Alisa says while likes gaining new skills as it builds her self-confidence, she hopes never to have to use them.
“I feel anger, hatred and I have my plans cancelled. It’s all surreal for me and I don’t get how such silly things can happen in a civilized world in the 21st century,” she said.
It comes as female Ukrainian soldiers are taking to TikTok to post glam pictures and videos of themselves in their bid to win the soft power propaganda war with Russia.
Clips of glamorous women in Ukrainian military uniforms dancing, fooling around in barracks, and even holding bullets have gone viral on social media.
As tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain strained, sharing candid videos and pictures of troops behind the scenes have become another front for a quasi-war.
Typically, the videos feature soldiers performing dances, but some also show female troops taking apart and reassembling weapons, or having fun in barracks.
Alisa trains for combat with others each Saturday[/caption]
It’s feared Putin is preparing to invade Ukraine imminently[/caption]