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Ukrainian grandfather and his two sons left their families to fight the Russian invasion

The three family members are stationed in Mykolaiv, a mile away from Russian forces. They are currently outside striking range of artillery.

Ukrainian grandfather and his two sons left their families to fight the Russian invasion
Image source: YouTube screenshot/CNN

A grandfather and his two sons picked up weapons for the first time in their lives to fight for their country in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yaroslav, a 59-year-old grandfather, and his sons Nazar, 34, and Pavlo, 26, signed up to fight against the Russian forces. Nazar has two sons while Pavlo has a daughter. All three of them left their families to fight alongside the Ukrainian army. This is their first time as soldiers and their first war. Yaroslav said the motivation is to fight as a family and for their family. He called it a "very easy and simple decision." They enrolled with the army and are currently fighting in the Mykolaiv district, reported CNN. 


When the trio enrolled in the army, they had one request: They wanted to stay together in their battalion. "What can I say—we love our country and will stand for it till the very end," he said. They are aware of the dangers and the anxiety their decision has caused their loved ones. Yaroslav's wife is very worried as her husband and her sons are in the way of danger. "Mother surely worries because of us," said Nazar. "She's nervous. Also, our wives and our children worry. But nevertheless, we are here, we are standing for our land." They are stationed in Mykolaiv district, just a mile away from armed Russian forces. They are still not within artillery range but face the risk of a sniper bullet. They stay in trenches dug up in farmland near the Black Sea coast that is being targeted by the Russians.  

KYIV, UKRAINE - MAY 30: Two young boys dressed as soldiers look out over the re-opened Stoyanka Bridge. Half of the main highway carriageway has been opened in record time after Ukrainian forces blew up the bridge in February to halt the advance of the Russian invasion on Kyiv City. May 30, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Their deputy commander, who is also named Nazar, said he lost four soldiers in a single day. The deputy commander has prior military experience fighting Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. He didn't hesitate to sign up after hearing of the attack. "An enemy came to our country, to our home, cowardly under the cover of the night, without declaration of war started shelling our towns and villages," he said. "We don't have other choice. We are defending our land. We didn't come to someone else's home. We are not Russians who break into someone else's house. We are protecting our families, our children, our parents." The deputy commander says his troops are lying low and hiding among trees. He and his troops are staying away from village as he fears the Russians might attack it if they are spotted in those areas.


As the war rages on, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that his people are facing famine and a hunger “catastrophe.” He accused Russia of blocking grain exports in an effort “to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people,” reported Yahoo News. Zelenskyy said Russian forces have blocked the export of 22 million tons of food products including “our grain, barley, sunflower and more.” Zelenskyy made the comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “If we do not export in the coming months, if there are no political agreements with Russia through intermediaries—there will be famine, there will be a catastrophe, there will be a deficit, there will be a high price,” he said, before urging world leaders to help. “You can unblock them in different ways. One of the ways is a military solution. That is why we turn to our partners with inquiries regarding the relevant weapons,” he said.

KYIV, UKRAINE - MAY 30: Two Ukrainian soldiers enjoy a tender off-duty moment near the village of Stoyanka on May 30, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. As Russia concentrates its attack on the east and south of the country, residents of the Kyiv region are returning to assess the war's toll on their communities. The towns around the capital were heavily damaged following weeks of brutal war as Russia made its failed bid to take Kyiv. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


President Biden said the United States would not send rocket systems to Ukraine. Officials believe it could be seen as an escalation by the Russia. Rebekah Koffler, former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and author of "Putin’s Playbook," said sending weapons that could potentially target Russia will be seen as an escalation. "Whether we believe we are climbing the escalatory ladder or not, it's irrelevant, it's how the Russians perceive it, because they are acting on it," she said, reported Fox News.

Russia's attack on Ukraine is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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