A group of Russian women practicing several firing positions, first aiming on their knees and then moving to their stomachs, are armed with Kalashnikov weapons that were manufactured in the Soviet Union. The women have extensive manicures and are dressed in camouflage.
The women have congregated in a gymnasium in the city of Yekaterinburg, which is located in Russia close to the Ural Mountains. This location is around 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from the frontline in Ukraine. New military zeal has been stoked in Russia as a result of the battle that has been going on in the eastern part of Donetsk for the past year, as well as fears that the fighting could spread to Russia itself.
“We thought that if something happens, if — God forbid — there is an attack or some kind of danger, we should learn to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” activist and founder of the group, Olga Smetanina, told AFP.
“I adore Russia very much,” the woman, who is 36 years old and a mother of two children, stated while wearing a cap with the letter Z embroidered on it. The letter Z is a symbol of the Russian intervention.
When the Kremlin declared in September that it would be mobilizing hundreds of thousands of men, Smetanina and other activists responded by launching a project that they dubbed “The Women’s Guard of the Urals.” The training is a component of this initiative.
Her own speech regarding Ukraine is eerily similar to that of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, who accuses Kiev and its Western supporters of being Nazi sympathizers and of posing an imminent threat to Russians. Her rhetoric is uncannily similar to that of Putin.
Smetanina explained the motivation behind the project by stating, “Recently, there has been so much aggression from other countries against our Russia, against our dear country.” She was speaking in the context of describing what sparked the idea for the project.
– Firearms, first aid, self-defence –
Since Putin dispatched troops to Ukraine in February of last year, Russian state propaganda has been working overtime to instill a sense of national pride in the armed forces of Russia. Some Russians have been inspired to take military training as a result of the rise in patriotic rhetoric, such as the sessions that are being given in Yekaterinburg by veterans of the attack in Ukraine.
Smetanina stated that the inspiration for her creation originated from a post that was made on a Russian social media platform. It was a smashing hit from the very beginning. “Women from all over Russia began calling us,” she said. “And men called to show support.”
By the end of December, over fifty women had successfully finished the program, which provides instruction on weaponry, self-defense, first aid, and how to operate drones. She stated that another group of fifty people are already going through the program, and that a third cohort will begin in the month of April.
The training program lasts for two months and consists of three sessions per week at the gym in addition to shooting practice at a range located outside of the city. Smetanina said with pride that the participants had done “extremely well” in the performance.
She stated that their proficiency with firearms was “practically the same” as that of mobilized men who had undergone comparable training with firearms. Anastasia Gubankova, one of the participants, mentioned that both her father and husband had officer positions in the military, which is why she felt it was only appropriate for her to enroll in the training program.
“Of course, I hope that I won’t have to use these skills in real life. But if necessary, I will,” said the 41-year-old purchasing manager.
– ‘Someone has to protect us’ –
Gubankova, who is a fervent admirer of Putin’s military goals in Ukraine, has stated that she has no objections to the possibility of her son, who is 19 years old, joining the military.
“Someone needs to look out for us,” she said, wearing a camouflage hoodie with the letter Z on it. “I was struck when he said, ‘I wouldn’t be able to live with the idea that I had betrayed my grandfather who had fought for me,” which seemed to be a reference to the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany.
More Latest News:
- Who killed Luz? New Jersey Kindergarten Teacher Finds Dead In Shallow Grave
- House Passes Resolutions To Stop DC Noncitizen Voting Bill, Criminal Code
Some of the women have long hair and apply heavy makeup on their faces. Others go to school without taking their jewelry off, including rings and earrings. Smetanina, who has long blonde hair, remarked that knowing how to fire a rifle or hurl a grenade would never get in the way of her attractiveness. Smetanina sports a beautiful blonde hairdo.
“I will always be beautiful. I will curl my hair and try to take care of myself in any situation,” she said. One instructor, whose nickname is “Zulus” and who teaches first aid, said he was skeptical at first. But when he saw how the women worked, that changed.
“I saw that I had been wrong. That’s a real guard for women, “AFP was told. Now, Smetanina is working on a new project called “The Generation Z Center” to make both adults and children more patriotic.
Smetanina said she would keep working on her projects even if Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine ends soon. “We don’t know what will happen in a year, two years, a decade,” she said. “But we will always have weapons in our hands and know how to properly hold our fists.”
Share your appreciation of this piece by leaving a comment below. And remember to check back with us here News Conduct frequently for updates.