After four weeks of war, Russia has not yet accomplished taking Kyiv. The Ukrainian resistance has surprised the world by managing to defend their country with the disposition of millions of civilians ready to take up arms.
Russia claims to have lost only 498 soldiers, while the Ukrainian Defense Ministry claims that 5,840 Russian soldiers have actually lost their lives so far.
U.S. intelligence officials put the total death toll at between 2,000 and 4,000. Ukraine claims that the actual death toll is more than 12,000 people, while Russia has not provided an update since early March.
Although the figures are not precise, the fact remains that the Ukrainian people have surprised the world. There are so many men willing to fight for their freedom and that of their families that the army has had to tell thousands of civilians to “better come back another day.”
“We are so furious that we will not spare the Russians”: civilians in Ukraine line up to fight back
Pavlo is a Ukrainian citizen who woke up on February 24 because his cat was meowing loudly while his wife and baby were sleeping; as he went to the kitchen to get some water, he looked out the window and heard detonations without understanding what was happening.
Immediately, Pavlo used his cell phone to look for news and find out what was happening. In just half an hour, he woke up his wife, picked up his baby, gathered his belongings and sought shelter. That day he left his life behind, not knowing what would happen to his home and if he would ever be able to return.
“My daughter was taking her first steps while in the background we heard the detonations, some friends and family members looked for weapons to protect us and I decided to travel for two days to my hometown to protect my family from the war,” Pavlo recounted in a conversation with El American.
“Once I left my baby and my wife in a place that is safe for the time being, I said goodbye to them and went to put myself under my country’s orders to fight for our freedom, and when I got there they told me: we have too many people on the list, better come back another day,” he recounted.
“We Ukrainians are peaceful people, we never think about war, but today we are so furious, so ready to fight for our country that we will not spare the Russians How can they kill so many children? For God’s sake, that’s too cruel! I am furious, they destroyed our lives. I will build my next house, and the number of bricks I will use will be the number of Russian soldiers I will kill,” Pavlo said in an annoyed tone and with a broken voice.
Thousands of Ukrainians return to their country to go to war
As thousands of people crowd into train and bus stations to seek refuge outside Ukraine, there are thousands more walking in the opposite direction and returning to their homeland to fight the Russian invasion.
“They want to take more land from our country. We want to protect our land, our family and our children,” Mark, a man who traveled with a friend by car from Denmark to Poland to cross the border into Ukraine, told the BBC.
In London, there is also a group of Ukrainians who were preparing to return: “It’s like a stranger coming into your house and wanting to hurt your family, your children, your wife. I think any man would behave the same way as me and other guys who are here, who are now returning to Ukraine,” Viktor told the BBC.
“The Russians are afraid, we are not and that’s why we will win”
As the war escalates and the number of casualties rises, Ukrainians are confident that they will win this war despite the obvious disadvantages they have against Russia, a country that spends 4.5% of its budget on investment in war and defense equipment.
“I know we will win because while Russian soldiers surrender and lay down their arms because they are forced to come into our country, no one is forcing us Ukrainians to fight for what we want. They are afraid, we are not, and that is what will make us victorious,” declared Pavlo before ending the conversation.