Ukrainians ready themselves for resistance | First Thing

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If Russian forces try to take new territory in Ukraine, they will face an army that is far smaller and less well equipped than their own but hardened by eight years of fighting, writes Emma Graham-Harrison in Kyiv.

Nearly a decade of war has also left Ukraine with nearly half a million combat-experienced veterans, many now preparing to fight again, officially or unofficially.

“The Russian army has better weapons and technical equipment than us, so we may lose battles or campaigns. But they can never win the country if the Ukrainian people are motivated,” said Serhiy Kryvonos, a retired special forces general and former deputy secretary of the national security and defence council.

The likelihood of a larger war in the near future dramatically increased yesterday when Vladimir Putin said Russia would support the territorial claims of its proxy states in east Ukraine, in what Joe Biden denounced as an attempt to carve out “a big chunk” of the country.

National guard troops to be deployed in DC as trucker convoy protests loom

 US Army National Guard Soldier takes a phone call as he stands next to high-water rescue trucks
The District of Columbia government and the US Capitol police are requesting the national guard assistance. Photograph: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty

The Pentagon is expected to approve the deployment of 700 to 800 unarmed national guard troops to Washington DC, a US official said yesterday, in the face of trucker convoys that are planning protests against pandemic restrictions beginning next week.

The District of Columbia government and the US Capitol police are requesting the national guard assistance. The troops would be used largely to help control traffic and were expected to come from the district’s national guard and three states, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss aid not yet formally approved.

Modelled after recent trucker protests in Canada, separate truck convoys have been planned through online forums with names such as the People’s Convoy and the American Truckers Freedom Fund – all…

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