Ukrainian Military Women on the Frontlines

SUMMARY: Ukraine has had a historical tradition of women in combat, for example women played an active role in the Red Army during WWII. Women however are still officially barred from front-line service in Ukraine’s regular army, yet many women have joined in civilian volunteer battalions that are integrated into the regular army or National Guard. Lera Burlakova quit her job as a journalist in December 2014 to serve as front-line soldier with a volunteer battalion in Pisky, but due to her unofficial status she has not received a salary since she joined the battalion, and is not eligible to receive awards and benefits available to combat veterans. Interestingly Burlakova explains that it is in some ways easier to be a woman on the front lines because there “was less of a stigma for a woman to admit fear.” Many Ukrainian women have been actively participating in combat, whether it is Dimitrova travelling to the front line to deliver supplies, or Julia who served in the trenches.

SOURCE: Nolan Peterson, August 11 2015, ‘Meet Ukraine’s Women Warriors,’ The Daily Signal, http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/11/meet-ukraines-women-warriors/

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