There are 40 million people in our army
This article written by a Ukrainian politician Inna Sovsun was published in Ukrainian newspaper “Ukrayinska Pravda” on the 26th of February. The author argues that Russia will never defeat Ukraine as long as Ukrainian people are fighting for their right to exist. This is a translation of this article from Ukrainian.
Putin backed the wrong horse. He thought that he would fight the Ukrainian government which gives orders to the army.
He judged us according to his standards and the standards of his country which has lived in passivity and fear for hundreds of years. He thought that in Ukraine as well as in Russia there is this one “comrade” in power who makes all the decisions and that scaring people off and breaking them down would be an easy task.
But in reality, Putin fights the whole country.
Russia has made an enemy of each and every one of us. People from the state with the authoritarian rule cannot even comprehend our ability to organise ourselves.
Tens of thousands of people sign up for the territorial defence. People stand in line to donate their blood for the army. Civilians, common people, dismantle the “mighty Russian army” for spare parts and neutralise groups of saboteurs who are trying to enter our cities and towns.
The garbage sorting station returns empty bottles to the people, for them to have where to pour the Molotov cocktails.
The leading scientists — chemists — write instructions on how to destroy the marks which are left by the saboteurs as targets for the enemy.
An elderly man approaches three armed soldiers with a camera and demands them to say “palianytsia” (a Ukrainian word which Russians find extremely hard to pronounce, — note from the translator) to identify who they are, and then quotes the Constitution of Ukraine to justify his right to film them.
Scrap metalworkers set up contracts to build a “Czech hedgehog” to prevent the Russian tanks from moving further.
Graffiti artists track and destroy advertisements and other marks left by the Russian saboteurs as targets for fire adjustment or pointers for landing and orienting of the paratroopers.
The Telegram channel of Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament, — note from the translator) informs on how to make a “special” fuel which will disable the Russian machinery and police send out instructions with recipes of the Molotov cocktails.
Ordinary Ukrainians inform each other and the military about the locations of the Russian forces through various channels of communication.
Because of that, when the Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov asks some villagers to burn down the fuel-carrying cars which follow the Russian fighting vehicles, — I never doubt that that is exactly what they will do.
In a single day we arranged the supply of everything our defenders needed, we organised the transportation and accommodation for the refugees, and now the whole country is working as a well-coordinated mechanism.
Abroad, all our people as well as foreigners who value freedom, peace, and justice, protest, and pressure their politicians to help Ukraine, — and it works because that is how democracy functions.
Everyone knows who should do what. We see it on the national scale as well as on the scale of our everyday experiences.
As an elected official, I mainly communicate with the leading foreign media, spreading information about Ukraine and explaining what kind of support is needed.
I am surrounded by my former university students who work on their laptops and phones for 20 hours straight, coordinating various groups, responsible for receiving humanitarian and other kinds of help from the West. I just overhear them saying something like “In Hungary, they are gathering… Wait, I have a call from Italy”’.
My assistant who is a lawyer helps to accommodate the refugees in Lviv (a city in the west of Ukraine, — note from the translator).
My father, who is 61 years old, plans to sign up for the territorial defence.
I think that it is high time for us to film a tour for the Russians to show them how civil society works and what solidarity and self-organisation are because they must understand that Putin has zero chances to win in Ukraine.
Each and every Ukrainian can give such a tour because the Russians have zero chances against us.
No dictator can defeat a country in which people organise themselves online better than the whole Russian military staff. Because all of us just do what we have to do. Not because we are given an order from above or because we are intimidated by the barrier troops but because we want it.
The whole country is behind our army.
The whole country is an army.
Article is provided by representatives of Kyiv-Mohyla University who have made their services available to provide accurate, timely, on-the-ground reporting about the war in Ukraine, including nuanced localized ongoing updates on what is happening across the country, as well as commentary and analysis.