“WE WILL THROW SPEARS”
On Feb 25, Kyiv’s mayor and boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko, said the city “has gone into the defensive phase”.
Heavy equipment was brought in to build concrete checkpoints, blocking positions and bunkers inside the city and along all major roads and in the suburbs.
At KAN, workers cut long pieces of girder using blow torches and angle grinders, welding them together into triangular barriers used to bolster fortifications and slow the movement of tanks and tracked armoured personnel carriers.
Oleksandr Bodyuk, the company’s deputy director, said workers were also using reinforcing bars and girders salvaged from construction sites to produce spiked, movable defences against wheeled vehicles, including trucks.
So far the makeshift factory, which started operating this week, has produced 110 large hedgehogs, including 40 in the fist 12 hours, Bodyuk said, adding that the company runs other similar sites in the city.
“We have demands from many places for these types of blocking devices, we deliver them wherever they are needed in the area … subcontractors and friends are providing transportation for the products and the material,” he said.
Andriy Kryschenko, Kyiv’s deputy mayor who was wearing military fatigues, said many similar firms and workshops had adapted to produce hedgehogs, concrete barriers and other defences.
He added that tens of thousands of people in Kyiv had received weapons and many more were waiting at enlistment and recruitment offices. The city hall was also supporting Territorial Defence units and troops at the frontline, Kryschenko said.
At the construction site, Serhiy Serdyuk, a grizzled welder in his 50s, said workers were ready to take up weapons and join the fight.
“If we have to, when the materials run out, we will make spears and we will throw those spears at them.”