Ukrainians Return Home By The Thousands To Fight Against Putin

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Amid the struggle in Ukraine to beat back Russian invaders, The Guardian reports that, on Saturday, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov “said 66,224 Ukrainians living abroad had returned home to fight – the equivalent of 12 brigades.” So far, Ukrainian defenders have held back Russian military personnel from capturing key areas like the capital, Kyiv, although Putin’s forces have made significant gains elsewhere, including capturing the city of Kherson. But Ukrainians are more effectively fighting against the Russian onslaught than Putin’s regime appears to have assumed would be the case, The Guardian explains.

As The Guardian summarizes it, “Putin’s war plan assumed a quick and decisive victory over Ukraine’s inferior army… Most Ukrainians would adjust to these new realities, it was thought. A pro-Russian puppet government would be installed. Those who continued to resist would face condign punishment – imprisonment, arrest and execution” — but according to Ukraine, Russian casualties have been steep, and Western officials have provided tentative support to Ukrainian claims regarding the numbers of Russian soldiers to have died. And Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression hasn’t only come in the form of military action: on Saturday, residents of Kherson poured into the streets to demonstrate against Russia’s presence, and elsewhere in the country, there have also been similar non-military shows of resistance. In Kherson over the weekend, residents “even hijacked a Russian armoured personnel carrier, taking it for a spin to loud applause,” according to The Guardian.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken backed up the assessment that Ukrainians were lodging a formidable defense, commenting that the “war has already not gone as Russian president Vladimir Putin might have planned.” In prominent instances, Ukrainian forces have effectively taken the fight to invading Russians: for instance, a massive Russian military convoy that has been approaching Kyiv has been the target of Ukrainian strikes. Despite these tentative successes on the part of Ukrainian defenders, the continuing devastation is immense. “At least 200,000 people remained trapped in Mariupol on Saturday without heat, electricity and water” and under the continued threat of Russian violence, The Guardian explained. There’d been hopes of staging a mass evacuation of civilians from the city after Russia and Ukraine agreed on the establishment of limited humanitarian corridors, as they’ve been called, but Russian forces failed to abide by the terms of the limited ceasefire agreements that were meant to provide for these sought after evacuations. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that Russian forces “want to wipe Mariupol and Mariupol residents off the face of the earth.” Mariupol has been described as “surrounded.”

Featured Image (edited): via Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine and available under a Creative Commons License