Ukraine conflict: Ukrainian MP who has taken up arms says she will defend Ukraine as long as needed
A Ukrainian MP who has taken up arms to defend the country’s capital city from the Russian invasion has said she will do so “as long as needed”.
Kira Rudik, the leader of the Voice party in the Rada parliament, said she was confident she should could shoot a Russian soldier if one came to her home.
Her comments come as the economic toll of sanctions against Russia started to become clear, with the rouble falling by 26% against the US dollar after western nations moved to block Russian banks from the Swift global payment system.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, the MP said: “I don’t have any plans to leave, this is my city, this is my country, and I plan to defend it for as long as will be needed.
“There is no chance that some Russian crazy dictator would be able to push me away from where I live and where I love.”
Ms Rudik is one of many in Ukraine who have taken up the offer of arming themselves, with military forces looking to bolster key positions.
“We received rifles in the Ukrainian parliament and for the last couple of days I was training to use it, so right now I’m pretty confident I would be able to shoot somebody if they come to my home,” she said.
“I assembled a resistance crew which now consists of 15 people, and we were able to stand up for ourselves and help our army patrol the streets.”
She predicted the invasion would last between 10 days and two weeks, due to Russia’s high casualties, low morale and unpreparedness for a drawn-out conflict.
“First of all, because Russia is losing 1,000 people per day, I’m not sure it’s a sustainable pace for the Russian army,” she said.
“Secondly, there hasn’t been any big victory that the Russian president can say ‘look, we’ve freed another Ukrainian city’, so that will beat up the morale.
“And we see that Putin didn’t plan to have a long war – when we look at the soldiers that are coming in they don’t even have supplies, they hope they will come and be greeted here with open arms, they face the resistance and that’s why they can’t take anything.
“Right now, they are in shock. I don’t think that he anticipated any of this – he will regroup now, but he will not be able to hold on to a long, drawn-out war.”
Ms Rudik added that she was “extremely grateful” to foreign countries for sanctions and the provision of military support, adding: “Every time I receive a message from all over the world, it makes my heart sing – people really, really do support Ukraine.”
She also said the invasion would precipitate a “new world order”, saying: “There are tyrannies that need to be isolated and there are democratic countries who can help each other to evolve.
“This is why it’s so important for us to stay on the bright side, and even if we feel this is a David versus Goliath situation, I am still persuaded that once it’s all gone, we will be able to build the country in a much better situation with better support with other countries.”