As Russian forces advance on the Ukrainian capital, the authorities are calling on the population to do everything they can to resist the invading troops.
Both the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Ministry are appealing
to Kyiv residents to “inform us of troop movements, to make Molotov
cocktails and neutralise the enemy”.
A leaflet with step-by step instructions of how to make petrol bombs
has been posted on the Ministry of the Interior’s social media.
Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko says 18,000 machine guns
“have been handed out in Kyiv to all volunteers, all those who want to
defend our capital with weapons in their arms”.
“Ukrainian military equipment is entering Kyiv now to defend it. I am
asking all residents of Kyiv – please do not film it, do not film its
movements. This is necessary to protect our city.”
As Russia advances, BBC team finds Ukrainian volunteers
armed on the streets of Kyiv
As we head out on to the streets of Kyiv we find Ukrainian civilians
now bearing arms to protect their country.
Men in trainers and jeans with rifles slung across their backs man
checkpoints, and hidden in the trees on the side of the road are other
young volunteers lying on the ground behind anti-tank weapons.
As we push on further we find professional soldiers braced for a last
stand. They are accompanied by Ukrainian artillery and tanks facing
the Russian position, less than 30km from the heart of the capital.
And we soon find signs of the battle drawing even nearer with a truck
ablaze in the middle of the road.
Around the corner, my colleague Abdujalil Abdurasulov and I find
Olena’s family, a group of five.
They’ve got a flat tyre at the worst possible time. They frantically try
to change it as they bundle a baby into the back seat.
“We’re really afraid”, Olena’s mother tells us, before another loud
bang silences everyone.
As I ask her what she thinks of President Putin’s attack on her
country, an even louder blast pierces the air. She lifts her arms up
and says “you hear that, that was him”.
As we drive on, we spot soldiers lined along wide ridges crossing the
river Dnipro. Some Ukrainian snipers are lying on their fronts, looking
down their sights. Other colleagues behind them have adopted a
similar defensive stance.
We see the faces of young men understandably anxious. There is an
undoubted fear it could be just a matter of hours before the Russians
confront them face to face and try to seize their capital.