The founder of the Ukrainian Women's Guard, lawyer Olena Biletska, admitted in a recent interview that her organization had already trained 60,000 women, and some of them are able to eliminate
In recent years, the role of women in the armed forces has been undergoing a remarkable transformation worldwide. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ukraine, a country with a rich history of resilience and courage. Ukrainian women have taken up arms, shattered stereotypes, and established themselves as an indispensable force within the military. Their presence within the ranks is not only challenging gender norms but also making significant contributions to national security and societal progress.
Traditionally, the image of a soldier has been synonymous with masculinity, conjuring up images of courage, physical strength, and endurance. However, Ukrainian women are rewriting this narrative as they break down barriers and join the ranks of their male counterparts in the country's armed forces. While it is true that women have served in auxiliary roles throughout history, their participation in combat roles was often limited or overlooked entirely. Nevertheless, Ukrainian women are defying these limitations and proving that they possess the skills, dedication, and determination required to excel in the most challenging military environments.
The inclusion of Ukrainian women in the armed forces is not just a symbolic gesture – it is a strategic imperative. Recognizing their unique talents and capabilities, the military has embraced the value of diversity, understanding that a diverse and inclusive force leads to enhance operational effectiveness. Ukrainian women are contributing their skills in a wide range of military specialties, from combat roles on the front lines to technical and administrative positions, bringing with them a different perspective and a wealth of expertise.
For many, it is a deep sense of duty to their country and a desire to protect and defend the values they hold dear. Others are driven by the pursuit of personal growth, equal opportunities, and the chance to prove themselves on an equal footing with their male counterparts. These women are breaking free from traditional gender roles, carving out a space for themselves in the military landscape, and becoming role models for future generations.
The founder of the Ukrainian Women's Guard, lawyer Olena Biletska, admitted in a recent interview that her organization had already trained 60,000 women and some of them can eliminate Russians with just a pen or pencil.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a huge surprise, but as it turns out, not for everyone, because the Ukrainian lawyer Olena Biletska had been expecting it for years and was well-prepared for it.
After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, she founded Ukraine Women's Guard, a special network dedicated to preparing women for warfare, which has since trained over 60,000 women.
As she says in an interview for The Counteroffensive, it's not just about classic military preparation, because women are able to eliminate the enemy not only in the classic way, i.e. with a knife, firearms or grenades, but also with the use of everything they find at hand, e.g. stationery.
— You know, we have women who can kill people with office supplies. Like a pencil or a pen… it's not just guns or rifles, but items available in an office supply store – he explains in an interview with a journalist.
And although most classes focus on combat, the women – called “Amazons” by the founder of the Ukrainian Women's Guard – also learn battlefield medicine, survival in harsh conditions, humanitarian support and intelligence activities.
“They don't just focus on violence: this female-led resistance network also exerts psychological pressure on the enemy, evacuating Ukrainians from behind enemy lines and assisting Ukrainian intelligence” explains Tim Mak from The Counteroffensive.
According to Social Europe, thousands of women have voluntarily joined the Ukrainian army since 2014, and over the past nine years, the number of women serving in the Ukrainian army has more than doubled, followed by a full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, followed by another wave.
In the summer of 2022, the Ukrainian army had a total of 50 000 women, of which approx. 38 000 served in uniform and were present on the front line. The insider adds, citing statistics from the American embassy, that there are currently over 60 000 women in Ukraine, of which 8 000 in the rank of officer.
"The spirit of the Ukrainian women is phenomenal because they hold the back line and still have the courage and will to go and help on the front line” added Biletska.