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Ukraine Prepares For Guerrilla War

With reports circulating that Russian forces are about to surround Kyiv and President Volodomyr Zelenskyy is in danger of being assassinated, Ukraine and its military aren’t giving up and have called on all of its citizens to prepare for a total war—or even a guerrilla war.

This comes as Russian paratroopers, tanks, artillery, ballistic missiles, and Grad rockets, along with every other tool of the Kremlin’s war machine, have been thrown at the Ukrainian military over the last few days.

Yesterday, Zelenskyy told the nation that every Ukrainian who wants a weapon will be provided with one.

“We are giving away weapons, and we will continue doing so to anyone who will ask for it in order to protect our sovereignty,” the president said in a television address. Since then, videos have circulated online of people in the streets of Kyiv lining up for their chance to receive a Kalashnikov rifle, while others are busy filling sandbags to fortify the streets for the incoming Russian assault. Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, has a population of almost 3 million.

The government is also circulating instructions on how to make a classic explosive.

Friday morning, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which oversees national policing, released an image on its Telegram page of how to make a Molotov cocktail (a basic explosive made from gasoline, a rag, and an empty bottle). The post shows an image of the homemade gas bomb with the caption “GET READY!” and explains it’s the same recipe the “Finnish did in 1939,” a nod to the famous Finnish guerrillas who, against incredible odds and numbers, defeated the Soviet Union in a brutal 1940 conflict known as “The Winter War.”

A how-to graphic accompanied the recipe, explaining and showing exactly where to throw the Molotov cocktail at a tank in order to inflict maximum damage.

A Ukrainian soldier on the front line in Donbas, who is in contact with VICE News, posted a video of several men sitting in a circle with empty alcohol bottles and filling them with gasoline in what looked like a mini-production lab for Molotov cocktails. Another Telegram post from a Ukrainian user that has been viewed over 200,000 times said, “Workers at a beer store are pouring beers out straight into the courtyard and giving out the bottles to partisans in order to make Molotov cocktails. Our people will not be conquered.”

Beyond the typical guerrilla war preparations, the Ukrainian government and the military also need public help thwarting the aerial bombardments of Kyiv that grew in severity last night. Internal Affairs alerted Kyiv residents of “suspicious signs” that mark places for Russian troops. And as airstrikes and possibly helicopter assaults are set to begin this evening as the sun goes down, the policing ministry told people in high-rise buildings to be on the lookout.

“The [Kyiv] city authorities are asking residents of high-rise buildings, who have access to the roof, to urgently check the roofs for signs,” read the advisory, which was dispersed over social media. “️If any marks are found, please cover them with earth or cover them with something.”

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