As President Vladimir Putin unveiled his peace plan for Ukraine on September 3, three dozen men of varied ages started their studies in the military school in Mariupol in eastern Ukraine.
They are the first batch of volunteers for a local self-defence battalion that the city council called on the residents to form. Officially subordinate to the Interior Ministry, they will be defending the city from a Russian attack, which the residents have now been expecting for nearly two weeks after thousands of Russian troops and tanks entered Ukraine’s territory and took over the nearby city of Novoazovsk.
Putin’s suggestion for an immediate ceasefire in the region, which was a part of his peace plan, has been met by Mariupol residents with a lot of skepticism.
For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.
(Ukrainian servicemen from the Azov Battalion train volunteers on September 3 2014 in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Photo: © Konstantyn Chernichkin/The Kyiv Post)