Ukrainian man who enlisted after Russia’s invasion gives an update, a week later : NPR

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is essential. It’s a metropolis he appears like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

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Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is essential. It’s a metropolis he appears like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan is among the many hundreds of Ukrainians who rushed to enlist after Russia invaded Ukraine final week. Talking to NPR by cellphone Wednesday, he mentioned he is assured Ukraine will prevail, regardless of going through Russia’s a lot bigger navy.

“We’re 100% positive that we’ll win,” he mentioned in an interview on Morning Version. “Little doubt about that. Undoubtedly.”

Ukrainian navy officers say their forces have managed to safe a number of notable victories in opposition to Russia’s navy — however they warn that the Russians appear to be adjusting their technique. Russia is counting on “the legal ways of long-range shelling of peaceable cities,” Ukraine’s protection minister, Oleksii Reznikov, mentioned in an replace on the battle.

Omelyan concurs with that evaluation — however he mentioned Russia’s method would possibly backfire, saying it is upsetting not solely terror amongst residents, however anger.

“They’re attempting to unfold panic among the many civilians, bombing them, however they get completely different response to such actions,” he mentioned. “Persons are getting livid and individuals are able to kill Russians. Even civilians which by no means took any type of gun of their arms.”

Omelyan was as soon as Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, however he is now positioned in Kyiv, with Ukraine’s territorial protection forces. He mentioned that whereas Ukraine’s navy nonetheless wants extra weapons and armor, it is having actual successes in opposition to Russia’s vaunted pressure.

“They have been all the time [saying] that it is just like the second military on the planet, but it surely seems to be very weak, and we crushed lots of their brigades,” he mentioned.

On Wednesday, the Russian Protection Ministry made its first announcement of considerable casualties in Ukraine, saying 498 personnel have been killed and 1,597 injured.

Omelyan mentioned he believes the Russians’ essential aim is to not occupy everything of Ukraine, however to get management of the capital, so Moscow can set up a puppet authorities and manufacture information tales a couple of profitable conquest of Kyiv.

Final week, Omelyan informed NPR that he joined Ukraine’s navy to guard his household. He additionally mentioned he was sure his nation will win. Every week later, that hasn’t modified.

“We’ll by no means give up,” he mentioned.

He thanked the U.S. and its European allies for his or her assist, saying he hopes Ukraine can grow to be a member of the EU. He referred to as for NATO to grow to be extra concerned, citing the Russian navy’s killing of Ukrainian civilians. And he reiterated that Ukraine wants extra tools to assist it battle.

“We want [an] pressing provide of anti-missile and anti-military plane programs to clear the skies from invasion,” he mentioned. “And we’ll deal with the land occupation simply.”

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