Ukrainian defense forces waged an intense battle on Saturday to keep the capital, Kyiv, and other cities across the country, out of Russian hands.
Outmanned and outgunned, Ukraine has removed age restrictions to join the military, according to the country’s Minister of Defense Alexey Reznikov.
“I decided, in agreement with the Commander of the territorial defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Brigadier General Yuri Galushkin, to involve in the territorial defense the Patriots over 60 years old,” Reznikov wrote in a Facebook post on Friday, saying it applied to citizens who are “morally and physically ready to resist and defeat the enemy.”
As intense urban warfare, explosions, rocket attacks, and aerial warfare could be seen across the country, Brigadier General Yuri Galushkin wrote on Facebook that Ukraine needs everybody to fight, and the procedures to enlist have been “simplified.”
“Bring only a passport and an identification code. There is no age limit” to enlist, Galushkin said.
Before, Ukraine said citizens between 18 and 60 were eligible to enlist, but now that appears to have widened as Russia established attack lines into three cities, including Kyiv in the north, Kharkiv in the northeast, and Kherson in the south. Ukrainian troops have been holding their ground in all three areas.
So far, Russian troops have pushed into Ukraine along the country’s southern, eastern and northern borders. NYTimes provides a snapshot of the Russian incursion’s gained ground.
The Kyiv Independent reports Saturday that Russia is expected to launch an offensive on all fronts following Ukraine’s refusal to engage in peace talks on Friday.