Nine months ago, on February 22, armed men took control of government buildings in Kiev killing police officers, government workers and civilians. Armed coup took place even after legitimate Ukrainian president gave up his rights on February 21 and called for early elections. Days later armed Maidan activists began moving to south-eastern part of Ukraine to force new regime upon locals there.
Short while later Ukrainian military and newly formed punitive National Guard battalions began moving to south-eastern part of Ukraine to help Maidan radicals in forcing new Kiev regime upon that part of the country. Unarmed locals came out to the streets blocking Ukrainian military convoys with their bodies. Others, armed with sticks and stones, began creating checkpoints on the roads trying to prevent radical extremists from Kiev and western Ukraine from entering their cities.
May, 2014 – unarmed locals in Donetsk trying to block Ukrainian military from entering their cities:
When it became clear that Ukrainian military will not stop, locals began arming themselves. One group of locals broke in to a military armory and armed themselves with AKs. First self-defense battalions were formed.
First self-defense forces of Donetsk:
When Ukrainian forces tried to take over town of Lisichansk in Lugansk region Valeria’s father was one of the first ones to stand up to the aggressors. Valeria’s father was murdered by Ukr National Guard. Local self-defense forces refused to take Valeria and her peers in their ranks because they were too young. Youngsters went on creating what they called “young self-defense” where 15 and 16 year olds formed a group and did what they could to protect their homes, schools, neighbors, family and friends. At one point main self-defense forces had to retreat from Lisichansk. Youngsters decided to stay. For two days they held defense of the city of Lisichansk when they realized that it is hopeless to do it by themselves. Youngsters decided to retreat. Under Ukrainian artillery fire young people began their retreat. Valeria Lyahova nickname “Krasotka” (Beauty) near Proletarskyi part of the city saw Ukrainian tank approaching their group during youngster’s retreat. Krasotka took three F-1 grenades, ran to the tank and blew herself up to try and stop Ukrainian tank. At her 16 years old Krasotka Valeria Lyahova sacrificed herself so that her peers could live. Forever 16 she will not be forgotten.