A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia

A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia

The 79-year-old great-grandmother, who took part in civilian combat training in Ukraine, was showered with praise today as the country prepared for an invasion from Russia.

Yesterday in Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine, the country’s National Guard taught Valentina Konstantinovskaya how to use an AK-47 assault rifle.

She was shown how to use the weapon by the Azov special forces, which had previously faced accusations by Western journalists of being a neo-Nazi group, during exercises for civilians.

It is one of several exercises being conducted across the country to build a ragtag army in anticipation of an “inevitable” invasion by Russian troops.

Ukrainians have described Ms. Kostyantynivska as a “hero” for taking part in the exercise, during which children as young as four also went through their steps.

Valentina Konstantinovskaya, 79, holds a gun during basic combat training for civilians organized by the Azov Special Forces Unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, yesterday

Valentina Konstantinovskaya, 79, holds a gun during basic combat training for civilians organized by the Azov Special Forces Unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, yesterday

Ukrainians have described Ms. Kostyantynivska as a

Ukrainians have described Ms. Kostyantynivska as a “hero” for taking part in the exercise, during which children as young as four also went through their steps.

The country's National Guard taught her how to use an AK-47 yesterday in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.

The country’s National Guard taught her how to use an AK-47 yesterday in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.

Speaking during the exercise, she told an NBCNews reporter, “Your mother would have done that too.”

She told local media, “I am ready to shoot if something happens. I will protect my home, my city, my children.

“I will do it because I think I am ready for it. I don’t want to lose my country, my city.”

Ms. Konstantinovskaya added: I went through this training, but I probably won’t be a very good soldier because my body doesn’t serve me anymore.

“And the weapon is too heavy for me.

Neighbors called her “an example of a Ukrainian woman” after she was photographed with a scope in a prone position.

Ukrainian Elena Mirko wrote on social networks: “I know her, she was our neighbor, she lived in a neighboring house, a beautiful woman, an example of a Ukrainian.”

Valentina Konstantinovskaya, 79, told local media: “I am ready to shoot if something happens.  I will protect my home, my city, my children.”

Valentina Konstantinovskaya, 79, told local media: “I am ready to shoot if something happens. I will protect my home, my city, my children.”

Neighbors called her

Neighbors called her “an example of a Ukrainian woman” after she was photographed aiming down the scope while lying on her stomach.

Ms. Konstantinovskaya says she

Ms. Konstantinovskaya says she “wants to lose her country, her city.” In the photo: great-grandmother’s Facebook account

A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia A 79-year-old Ukrainian woman takes part in a military exercise as the country prepares for an invasion from Russia

And political scientist Ariana Geek said: “This woman is my hero.”

Ms Konstantinovskaya is not the only Ukrainian woman looking to defend her country this week. The country’s deadliest female sniper, 42-year-old Yelena Belozerskaya, told MailOnline that in a few hours she would be back on the front lines to face the Russians.

She is credited with at least 10 confirmed “kills” in the Donbass trenches and is part of the Ukrainian Marine Corps.

Ms Belozerskaya said she had no doubts about any of the men she had killed or wounded in combat.

“When the enemy crawls up to our position to kill me, does he wonder if I have a husband, parents or children?” she said.

Yelena Belozerskaya, 42, is credited with at least 10 confirmed

Yelena Belozerskaya, 42, is credited with at least 10 confirmed “kills” in the Donbass trenches.

‘Of course not. And I don’t bother myself with stupid things either. This is for books and movies.

“In real life, anyone who thinks like that in combat is as good as dead.”

The sniper from Kiev is somewhat of a celebrity in Ukraine who wrote a bestselling book called “The Diary of an Illegal Soldier”, referring to the fact that in her first few years of service, volunteers like her are technically not allowed to fight on the front lines, but this law was changed in 2016.

She was well known even before the war, as her opposition journalism caught her under threat of jail time by the hardline old regime of Viktor Yanukovych, who was overthrown in the 2014 Maidan revolution.

Mother-of-three Mariana Jaglo, 52, also wants to protect her country.

“As a mother, I do not want my children to inherit the problems of Ukraine or to have these threats passed on to them. I better get on with it now,” Marianne said.

“If it comes to that, then we will fight for Kiev; we will fight to protect our city. If there is a need to start shooting, then I will start shooting,” the mother continued, demonstrating a recently purchased Zbroyar Z-15 rifle in her apartment in the Ukrainian capital.

She further explained that the Zbroyar Z-15 was a hunting rifle, but she was not going to hunt.

“I have never hunted in my life. I bought this carbine after I heard some soldiers discussing the best rifle,” Mariana told The Times.

The marketing researcher is just one of thousands of Ukrainians who have recently joined the country’s Territorial Defense Forces (SVO), a volunteer army that has swelled in strength as tensions escalate along the border with Russia.

Mariana Zhaglo is far from being a typical Ukrainian soldier, but the 52-year-old marketer said she is ready to do whatever it takes to protect her country.  “As a mother, I do not want my children to inherit the problems of Ukraine or to have these threats passed on to them.  It’s better that I do it now,” said Maryana, showing off her recently bought Zbroyar Z-15 rifle in her apartment in the Ukrainian capital.

Mariana Zhaglo is far from being a typical Ukrainian soldier, but the 52-year-old marketer said she is ready to do whatever it takes to protect her country. “As a mother, I do not want my children to inherit the problems of Ukraine or to have these threats passed on to them. It’s better that I do it now,” said Maryana, showing off her recently bought Zbroyar Z-15 rifle in her apartment in the Ukrainian capital.

The Kiev branch of the NMD conducted exercises in January in the snowy forests outside the capital, and scores of civilians across the country, many of them young men, signed up for similar training programs to gain basic combat skills.

In the event of a potential Russian invasion, these young men will become part of the country’s civilian resistance, which will continue to fight Russian soldiers if Ukraine’s 255,000 regular army is defeated.

Mariana told The Times that many Ukrainians have learned to live with the threat of a potential invasion since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, adding that it is not unusual for Russia to step up troop deployments near the border from time to time.

But she remained firm in her intention to remain in the capital and fight in the event of an invasion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.