Gran, 59, trains with army in Ukraine as country prepares for Russian invasion

Rumia, a 59-year-old granny living in Kiev, has started weapons training as her country prepares amid fears of a Russian invasion coming this winter

Rumia, 59, practicing with her wooden assault rifle

A 59-year-old Ukrainian granny has been training with the Territorial Defense Force as the country prepares for a Russian invasion.

Rumia joined hundreds of other volunteers to train with the Ukrainian TDF as fears of a possible invasion grew.

It was the administrator’s first training to take up arms to protect Ukraine.

The Gran is a Crimean Tatar native to the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Now, after her homeland was invaded and taken years ago, she joins Ukrainians of all ages in trying to prevent the same thing from happening again.

Like many Ukrainians, she has attended TDF training sessions for fear of invasion
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She was pictured holding a model assault rifle alongside other volunteers, one of whom was just four years old and training on the outskirts of Kiev.

While the threat of a full-scale invasion has increased in the final months of 2021 and early this year, the country has grappled with this crisis for years.

The Donbass region of Ukraine has been at war since 2014 with Russian-backed separatists fighting to break away from the rest of Ukraine.

According to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in December 2021 and published on December 17, 2021, 50.2 percent of Ukrainians said they would resist in the event of Russian military intervention in their city, town or village
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At present, Russia has continued to deny any aggressive intentions toward Ukraine but has amassed an army of over 100,000 troops along the border along with vehicles, weapons and supplies.

Moscow has become more aggressive in its actions as Ukraine tries to grow closer to the West.

She has urged the West to promise not to accept Ukraine into NATO or use offensive weapons in Eastern Europe.

Reservists of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense conduct a military exercise near Kiev
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Vladimir Putin has also called for all current deployments to be rolled back.

As the war of words rages on, citizens in Ukraine fear for their safety, leading more and more people to sign up for exercises like Rumia.

As tensions rose, Russia began a series of war games on its land and seas.

Fears of an invasion have been growing since last year, when Russia began massing troops at the border
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Amid the standoff, US President Joe Biden has ordered 2,000 more US troops to Poland and Germany and 1,000 to Romania.

Despite the growing aggression, Putin signaled earlier this week that Moscow might be ready to talk to the West.

In addition to diplomatic efforts, Boris Johnson spoke with Putin on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Moscow and Kiev on Monday and Tuesday.

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