Women on the frontline: how many Ukrainian women are taking part in the war and what you need to know about their exploits
Since the beginning of the full-scale war, thousands of volunteers have expressed their desire to fight for their homeland. But it's not just men, it's also Ukrainian women who continue to bravely fight for freedom. Find out how many women are fighting in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and what feats they are performing
Ever since the outbreak of hostilities in eastern Ukraine in 2014, women have been an integral part of the Ukrainian armed forces and volunteer battalions. However, since the beginning of the full-scale war in 2022, the number of the country's best daughters has increased many times over.
How many women are in the Ukrainian army?
According to official data, as of the beginning of May 2023, 42,000 women serve in Ukrainian military formations, which is a significant percentage of the total number of military personnel.
"They are not written about or filmed. Meanwhile, they are working in the army. They do their important work every day. They are engaged in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the army," describes Ukrainian women soldiers, Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar.
According to official data, out of 42,000 women, 5,000 are directly on the front line. At the same time, 107 women were unfortunately killed or injured during the russian aggression.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the country's best daughters are defending Ukraine as well as its best sons.
It should be noted that as of the end of 2022, 350 Ukrainian women in the military were awarded state decorations during the full-scale war. Two of them received the highest title of Heroes of Ukraine (posthumously). Today, there are many more such heroines.
Famous women in the Ukrainian army
It is worth noting that the Armed Forces of Ukraine include not only Ukrainian citizens but also volunteers from other countries.
For example, on September 14, 2022, it became known that soldier Olga Simonova "Simba" was killed. A russian by birth, who fought for freedom in Ukraine, she was from Chelyabinsk. The girl was 34 years old.
Another heroine of the Ukrainian army is Kateryna Polishchuk, nicknamed "Ptashka" (bird in Ukrainian). She is a paramedic who was part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the Azovstal plant, which was under siege by the russians and lasted for more than a month.
The paramedic became famous when videos of her singing at the Azovstal plant surrounded by russians went viral. The girl inspired the defenders of Mariupol not to lose their morale.
After the Ukrainian military voluntarily withdrew from the plant, a number of soldiers, including Ptashka, were captured by the russian occupiers. Later, as part of a large prisoner exchange, Kateryna Polishchuk was returned to Ukraine. After arriving home, she admitted that she did not expect to return home.
Paramedic Yulia Payevska, call sign "Tyra". During the 8 years of war, Yulia has seen people die and cities perish. On March 16, she was taken prisoner when she was transporting women and children by bus from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia. Tyra says little about the details of her captivity. The first few days without food and water. Minus 10 kg of weight in three months. 22 women in a cell measuring three by six meters. Singing the russian national anthem several times a day.
Yulia was released on June 17, 2022. The details of the exchange have not yet been disclosed by either side. russian propagandists called the exchange of Payevska "the height of cynicism and a spit in the face of the prisoners" of the russian federation.
As Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk once said, Ukrainian women soldiers are treated in an atrocious manner in russian captivity. Women are shaved head and their dignity is humiliated.
We are not able to name all Ukrainian women soldiers. However, we can definitely pay tribute to them. On behalf of the entire Visit Ukraine team, we would like to say to you: "Thank you! Come back home safe and sound, because you still have to raise the same strong children of Ukraine!"
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