08 UKRAINIAN WOMEN ARE MOBILIZING BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD TO DEFEND THEIR COUNTRY - AMUM
18837
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-18837,single-format-standard,bridge-core-2.5.9,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-24.4,qode-theme-bridge,qode-wpml-enabled,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.4.2,vc_responsive

08 UKRAINIAN WOMEN ARE MOBILIZING BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD TO DEFEND THEIR COUNTRY

On a chilly evening in mid-March, Myroslava Bodakovksa was clearing out the trunk of her car, getting ready for another nocturnal mission. She’d parked the car behind the main railway station in Lviv in western Ukraine, where women and children fleeing violence and horror were arriving in trains from all over the country. Bodakovska, a 38-year-old travel agent, wanted to greet as many as possible. “I pick them up on the platform and take them to a shelter,” she says, estimating she makes about 20 such trips each night. “I go back and forth until the sun comes up. Then I go to bed.”

Bodakovska is one of the millions of Ukrainian women who have mobilized across the country since war broke out, providing vital logistics and non-combat support. They describe themselves as the “rear front line,” a reference to the military term of back operations supporting those doing the fighting on the front lines.

Women make up around 15% of Ukraine’s army, meaning there are around 30,000 women currently facing Russia on the battlefield. But their fight extends much further: the businesswoman storing medical supplies beside a fridge of freshly piped cakes in her patisserie; the wedding dressmaker switching out lace for camouflage; the schoolteacher running a hotline that searches for relatives in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Together, they pose an unanticipated challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin, becoming the other line of defense in a war where solidarity and high morale appear to be thwarting Russia’s plans for a swift victory. “He did not take us into account,” says Liliya Chyzh, a pulmonologist who recently returned to Ukraine after escorting her 84-year-old mother to safety in Poland. She now treats internally displaced women and children free of charge in Lviv.

Atrocities are being documented by a new collective of around 120 women volunteers, called Dattalion, who take photos and videos from the war’s hotspots. The imagery is reviewed in house, placed in an open database and provided to the media and various Ukrainian government bodies. “We are primarily women, as men are fighting or doing more dangerous stuff,” says Dattalion’s founder, a former Ukrainian government official and businesswoman who fled Ukraine for a European Union country just over a week ago. She spoke to TIME on condition of anonymity because she fears for the safety of her team members and family still in Ukraine.

https://time.com/6159261/women-ukraine-war-russia/

No Comments

Post A Comment