shared this story
Embedded with Ukrainian Army’s 72nd Mechanised Brigade on the frontline north of Kyiv, a FRANCE 24 team encountered motivated soldiers and reservists equipped with cutting-edge weaponry, including anti-tank missiles to halt the Russian offensive on the Ukrainian capital.
While the location cannot be disclosed for security purposes, a member of the Ukrainian Army’s 72nd Mechanised Brigade explains that the area is a strategically vital. “We are only 15 kilometres from the outskirts of Kyiv, and the Boryspil Airport is close,” said the soldier, referring to Kyiv’s main international airport. If the Russians take it, he notes, “they could use it to land reinforcements and supplies to take Kyiv.”
To hold the line, these fighters can rely on cutting edge weaponry, including state-of-the-art equipment such as anti-tank missiles provided by Ukraine’s Western allies.
Defending the line are professional forces as well as reservists, including 59-year-old Ilich, a former Soviet soldier. “I joined the army. I have military skills because of the training I got as a conscript in Soviet times. When Crimea and Donbas were attacked, I felt compelled to fight. I’m still strong, I can’t feel my age,” he said.
Unpacking a weapons delivery, a young soldier threw a challenge to the enemy threatening his country. “This is our gift to the Russians,” said the young soldier who declined to be named. “We can’t wait to welcome them with these. Come visit us,” he taunted.
Western intelligence officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin was hoping for a swift victory when the offensive on Ukraine began on February 24. But as the war enters its fourth week, his troops have stalled, unable to take the capital, which is being defended against all odds by Ukrainian troops.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning Subscribe