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“Each of us is responsible for the protection of Ukraine.” What motivates millennials to join the Territorial Defense?

“Each of us is responsible for the protection of Ukraine.” What motivates millennials to join the Territorial Defense?

9 minutes read
This text is about: Urban attended the training of the Kyiv Territorial Defense and got acquainted with the reservists who are trained here.
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[On January 1st, the law “On the Fundamentals of National Resistance” came into force. It stipulates that territorial defense brigades should be set up in each oblast and city with a population of more than 900,000. In addition, terrorist defense battalions should be established in each district and in addition in each administrative center of the region.

Territorial Defense forces are called to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine to protect the territory and population, the state border, critical infrastructure, to resist the sabotage of the aggressor.

To become a territorial defender, you must first come to the military registration and enlistment office, contact a territorial defense officer, and pass an interview. Mandatory requirements include age 18 to 60 and good health, determined by the Compulsory Military Medical Commission]

… Saturday, at 9 am. I am going to the training of territorial defenders, which is taking place in Holosiivskyi district of Kyiv. I see cars near the gathering place, men in military uniforms are standing nearby. These are reservists of the Territorial Defense of the city of Kyiv. Today they are scheduled to train with airsoft weapons and pyrotechnics.

The training involves two teams, all participants – volunteers who in normal life work in radically different professions and mostly have no combat experience. Detachment commander Denis Semyrog-Orlyk issues an order to line up.

The fighters line up in two rows. Following the instructions of the company commander, he turned right and went to the forest. Already there they begin to knead the body. Further in the program – practice of individual skills: transfer of the weapon to the left, to the right, the correct holding of the weapon during firing…

Men and women are moving to a new area – there will be practice of tactical actions of the unit in the woods. The fighters hold the defense, inspect the territory and, in case of a safe situation, retreat. This is repeated three times.

Next on the plan is to practice patrols with side patrols on hilly territory. A group of scouts will attack today, and infantry will defend. The commander gives the order to divide into two divisions, the fighters disperse in opposite directions and carefully inspect the area.

The commander in front orders to sit down. Reservists kneel or lie on their stomachs and continue to survey the area. They keep their weapons in front of their faces and their fingers on the trigger to be ready to fire in case of the attack.

In a few minutes, with a wave of his hand, the commander announces that everything around is clean, it is worth continuing to move. Fighters following the commander give the order to those who are behind. All this is done in complete silence.

The fighters descend from the hill and go to the lowlands. Suddenly, the movement of the “enemy” is heard on the right side. By order of the commander, the defenders lay down and began firing in the direction of the enemy. “Let’s crush them!” – I hear appeals.

The commander orders the first two soldiers to advance five meters. Others

fighters continue to shoot. The commander shouts: The first branch, “twos” from left to front by 10 meters!” Reservists squat down and lie down, hiding their bodies behind a log or tree trunk. From there, they fired for a few more minutes, and then the commander ordered the exercise to end. The fighters return to the starting point, where they discuss their mistakes, make a plan of movement and attack.

With a wave of his hand, the commander again ordered the patrol to begin. Fighters are considered on the sides. The enemy was not identified. But going down, the soldiers again notice the “enemy” movement. In a few minutes, the sound of grenades can be heard from the “attackers” and white smoke can be seen. “Enemies” used paintball grenades.

Defenders continue to shoot and attack the “aggressor”. When the last defender retreated, the exercise was over. Today the “enemy” has been defeated, and next Saturday it will be reactivated.

Taras Ishchyk, 27, freelance adviser to the commander of the 103rd Territorial Defense Brigade

It was my conscious decision to join the Territorial Defense. This is a good opportunity to learn to defend yourself and your country. It is easy to combine military service with the main activity, so this format of state defense is suitable for almost everyone.

At the Territorial Defense Recruitment Center, I spoke with the company commander and began preparations for the contract: I was examined by a narcologist, psychotherapist, dermatovenerologist, tuberculosis specialist, and a military medical commission, which confirmed that I was fit to serve in the Armed Forces Reserve. The procedure took about 10 days.

While studying, I found many friends in common. The atmosphere in the Territorial Defense is very similar to that prevailed on the Maidan – the people are reunited for the common defense of the state. Being in the circle of like-minded people, I have no doubt: we are ready to defend ourselves and we will definitely not allow Russia to seize at least part of our territories. I would like more people to understand that not only the Armed Forces and the National Guard are responsible for the defense of our state, but all of us. Because it is impossible to win a single nation.


Vasyl Hryhoruk, 28, entrepreneur

I used to help the army as a volunteer. And in the autumn of 2020 I joined the Territorial Defense of Kyiv.

Now every Thursday I attend sergeant training, where I study theory, and every Saturday I practice my practical skills at the training ground. In addition, I master the skills of shooting to be as prepared as possible.

Among the defenders, I found many close comrades. Understanding that we will defend Ukraine side by side, if necessary, contributes to building friendly and trusting relations.

I am confident that if we continue to train, develop the country’s economy and keep the promises made to our international partners, Russia will not attack us, because it is afraid of the strong.


Roman Mykytyuk, 28, cryologist

I used to volunteer and help with tactical medicine at the forefront. But when the enemy began to draw additional forces to our border, I realized that I did not know what to do if hostilities broke out.

Because of this, 8 months ago I signed a contract with the Territorial Defense. Here we are told about the types of mines, the rules of handling weapons, patrolling the city and the forest – all that may be needed in the event of hostilities.

I found many good friends among the defenders. We share experiences and support each other. Being in such a community gives you confidence that everything will be fine. Now I am sure that Ukraine is ready to defend itself.


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