האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
Photo: Gil Nechushtan
Ukrainian citizens learning how to fight in urban areas

Ukrainians set up secret facilities to train civilians how to fight

Hidden deep in the city of Lviv, an urban warfare training facility teaches Ukrainians how to use automatic weapons, throw grenades and understands basic military tactics; 'Only now Ukrainians started to acquire combat capabilities,' says one of the instructors

Elior Levy |
Published: 03.15.22, 12:34
An endless flight of stairs in a drab, old building in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, one of the few areas still largely untouched by war, led us to a massive, well-guarded stockroom with heavy metal door.
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  • Behind the door awaited a massive confined space with a single table, on which lay nine, fully automatic Kalashnikov rifles, known as AKs.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    Ukrainian citizens learning how to fight in urban areas
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan )
    Around the table stood several youths and elders, all transfixed on the words of the resident weapons instructor - himself an ex-fighter in the Ukrainian army who fought in the Donbass region, occupied by Russian forces at the onset of the invasion 20 days ago.
    This massive room has been turned into an urban warfare training facility, where dozens of Ukrainians train everyday in the use of automatic weapons, grenade throwing, evasive maneuvers, and basic military tactics.
    After the theoretical lesson, the instructors introduce the trainees to the training complex and demonstrate to them how to fight in a small group, how to attack and move from room to room, and why it’s important to cover each other's backs.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan )
    The instructors go over every little detail with them, forcing them to repeat the grueling exercises over and over again until they are performed correctly. The trainees, on their part, heed these lessons with a grim seriousness.
    “Only eight years ago our country was at war. It is not good that only now the Ukrainian people have started to acquire combat and self-defense capabilities,” said one of the facility's instructors, who asked to remain anonymous.
    Those arriving at the facility to train arrive from all over besieged Ukraine, regardless of background or even age.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    One of the facility's instructors
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan )
    "We are being trained here to use rifles and combat tactics in urban areas," said 32-years-old Valery Simenchuk from Kyiv, who like many others of the facility's attendees, lacks any form of prior military training.
    During the training session, the instructors try to spur the trainees and create for them as real an atmosphere of war as possible, partly by hurling stun grenades at them.
    "They also taught us how to deal with airstrikes and missile attacks, which is important to me because of the missile fire on Lviv in recent days," Simenchuk said.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    האזרחים האוקראינים שמתאמנים בלוחמה בשטח בנוי לקראת הלחימה עם רוסיה
    Trainees preparing to enter the course
    (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)
    "The Russians have no morals. They are also shooting at civilians, even in the western regions of Ukraine, and we must know how to deal with it," he added.
    Dmitry Bleszczak, a resident of Lviv, came to train alongside his cousin. "We understand that the situation here could change and I want to know how to behave in this situation and how to use weapons.
    “This is our home. We are not military men, but in such a situation we will have to be part of the army to defend our territory. There is no other way,” he said.
    "I want to acquire the ability, but hope I will not have to use it,” added Bleszczak.








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