Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday voted to approve in the first reading a draft law which gives permission to Ukrainians to carry firearms and act in self-defence.
“The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society,” the authors of the draft law said in a note, adding that the law was needed due to “existing threats and dangers for the citizens of Ukraine”.
Ukrainians are buying guns, ammunition and sniper rifles ahead of a possible Russian invasion, with long queues inside weapons stores on Wednesday.
With a state of emergency set to be unveiled, the country’s parliament approved a draft law that gives Ukrainians permission to carry firearms. Previously they were forbidden from leaving home with lethal weapons.
Most Ukrainians – boys and girls – learn how to shoot at school. About 400,000 people are estimated to have combat experience, following Vladimir Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the Moscow-supported armed uprising in the east.
But the threat in recent days of a possible attack on Kyiv has caused an unprecedented rush to buy arms. Gun shops have sold out of some weapons, such as AR-10 and AR-15 assault rifles, with business now exceptionally busy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that any citizen who wanted to defend the country from Russian attacks would be provided with a weapon.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” he tweeted as the conflict between both neighboring countries escalated.
We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 24, 2022
I said there would be a lot of Ukrainians raised on the stories from babusya and didusʹ on what happened to the family under Stalin’s holodomor and would want their revenge.
It’s very hard to subdue a nation that is in active resistance where one in four or five civilians has a rifle and will take potshots at your troops.
The only problem is that the people now have to get guns.
We already have them.
This is why you don’t let politicians take them away.