DNIPROPETROVSK, Ukraine—Outside this city at a Ukrainian army facility called the Polygon, which is typically used for tank training, about 200 civilian volunteers gathered this past weekend for a military exercise.
Many had no military experience; some had never held a weapon. But many decided to train for war due to widespread worries about an escalation in the Ukraine conflict and the potential for it to spread all the way to Dnipropetrovsk, which, with its nearly 1 million residents, is Ukraine’s fourth largest city.
“I’m here to protect my people, my town and my family,” said Daniel Kishlitsya, 20. “I’m very worried about the war coming here; I think it will get worse.”
The recruits ranged in age from 17 to 74 and came from all walks of life. They wore mismatched uniforms, which had either been bought off the Internet or supplied by local volunteer groups that equip soldiers for combat. Some wore hunting clothes or leather motorcycle jackets. Others had on tennis shoes.
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