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26th Feb 2022

80-year-old Ukrainian man tries to enlist in army ‘for his grandkids’

Simon Bland

The man brought with him a bag containing his toothbrush and a few sandwiches for lunch

The image of an 80-year-old man showing up to enlist in the Ukrainian army has gone viral on social media, touching hearts and hitting home the devastating impact Russia’s ongoing invasion is having on the local population.

Shared late on Friday night by the former first lady of Ukraine, Kateryna Yushchenko, the as-yet-unidentified man can be seen queuing up to enlist in the Ukraine army, carrying with him nothing but a small bag.

Inside the bag, it has been reported that the man had with him two tee shirts, a pair of spare pants, his toothbrush and a few sandwiches for his lunch.

According to Yushchenko, who worked for the Ukraine government from 2005 until 2010, the OAP was enlisting to “for his grandkids”.

“Someone posted a photo of this 80-year-old who showed up to join the army, carrying with him a small case with 2 t-shirts, a pair of extra pants, a toothbrush and a few sandwiches for lunch,” said Yushchenko in a tweet.

“He said he was doing it for his grandkids.”

The post has since received over 49,000 shares and and more than 278,000 likes. As you might expect, it’s also received an outpouring of comments from concerned social media users from across the world.

“Nobody deserves to go through a war in their life. ESPECIALLY a second war in their life,” said one user.

“World leaders should understand this,” replied another.

Meanwhile, some sympathised with the older gent’s honourable intentions: “I’m getting close to that age, and if called upon, I will do the same,” said one Twitter voice.

Ukraine currently has a military conscription system in place following the recent Russian invasion. Sometimes referred to as ‘the draft’, the country has used this system since leaving the Soviet Union in 1991 and as such – while still unconfirmed – it’s likely that this man will have fought for his country before if he’s decided to enlist once more.

Meanwhile, Russia’s destruction of Ukraine following its devastating invasion earlier this week sadly continues, with the current death toll still hard to accurately quantify and thousands displaced.

Just a few days ago, it was reported that all men aged between 18 and 60 were unable to leave the country and expected to stay and fight, with 18,000 volunteers handed machine guns.

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