The Defenders

The Ukrainian Territorial Defence Force is a composed of hundreds of thousands brave civilians who have volunteered to protect their homeland. Learn more…

From citizens to heroes

The Territorial Defence Forces of Ukraine are civilian volunteers who have left their peaceful lives behind and answered the call to defend their beloved homeland. They are people like us who never imagined they would be risking their lives on the battlefield.

Running towards the fight!

Today, the Territorial Defence Forces are fighting for the world’s freedom alongside the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They desperately need protective equipment! These people are not professionally-trained soldiers, they are ordinary people who stepped up, with courage and resolve, to fight for their country and a democratic way of life. They want their children to grow up in a free Ukraine and are prepared to die, if necessary.

Courage and determination are not enough. They need protective equipment. Unite With Ukraine today and help us win this crucial battle.

*The defenders of Ukraine - adapted from a Global News story

Meet the defenders

Maksym Kurochkin,

52 years old from Kyiv

Playwright and now member of the regional Territorial Defense Force

For almost three years, 20 Ukrainian playwrights planned a new theater, searched for premises, and made repairs in a magnificent basement in the heart of old Kyiv. On March 12th, we were set to open the ‘Theater of Playwrights’. On February 24th, we woke to the horrific sound of bombs in our city. So instead of planning a grand opening, we are now fighting for our survival, for the future of our country, and for the realization of our dreams. Instead of a pen in my hand, I now carry a weapon.

After the inevitable victory of Ukraine, our theatre will open and become a refuge for new plays, a home to brave and defiant playwrights who will focus, not on approved content, but on their own voices and ideas. We have long dreamed of a theater where playwrights have the freedom to express their views, however unpopular or radical, where discriminatory practices are a thing of the past, and where important issues are resolved in a democratic way. We will open a theater that does not close its eyes or censure freedom of speech. We haven't opened yet. Today, we fight. But the plays of our authors are already resonating with people all over the world and defining what it means to be Ukrainian.

Pronina Victoria,

30 years old, from the Luhansk region.

Responsible for the Protection of Public Order and Peace, Detection of Looters and Verification of Citizens

My soul hurts for our people! For our children! For our lands! In no country in the world do people kneel when fallen defenders are carried to their resting place.

There is a man in Irpin, I don't remember his name. During the evacuation, the Russians killed his wife, son, daughter, and dogs. A girl from Bucha lost her family and her arm. Is this a military operation? No! This is genocide of the civilian population.

Ukraine is a free, independent, sovereign, and constitutional state. We have picturesque mountains, the beautiful Black Sea, a rich culture. Russia has tried to suppress us for a long time, since the days of the "union", but we have never given up. We have tasted freedom and will not surrender. I don't know any nation that is as strong as Ukraine. And from February 24, every person on the planet knows that Ukraine is a country of free and strong-spirited people. I am proud to be Ukrainian. I am proud of my unbreakable people. My father is my hero. He is 58 years old and, once again, taken up arms as he did in 2014 to protect our lands in Luhansk and the region. Can you imagine being ready for retirement and suddenly using whatever you can find as an improvised weapon to fight for your family and your country? At a time when he should be relaxing and enjoying life, he is bravely standing up for the future of his country. GLORY TO UKRAINE! The whole universe needs to see these words!

Strygun Dmytro,

37 years old from Dnipro

Customs Officer

Since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, I have worked to provide medical care for the wounded defenders of the Maidan (Kyiv’s main square). These courageous fighters were taken from the Maidan to special shelters provided by a number of churches including Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Ukrainian Orthodox. Other injured soldiers were rescued from Berkut (elite forces) attacks and taken to Europe for treatment in military hospitals. I have worked to support the injured and the families of fallen soldiers, especially the children who are now growing up without a parent. These children do not understand a world where parents who used to play with them are suddenly gone, where they are forced to hide in basements instead of kicking a ball outside, where food is scarce and their kitchen table a memory. I always believed that the war would continue beyond the eight years since 2014.

This is just the beginning of our fight for freedom. Since 2014, I have been liaising with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Lithuanian Arrows, the Canadian Embassy, and USAID/PACT. Financial reporting within the organizations has been conducted according to international audit standards since 2015. I have developed training and employment courses for the blind with seventy-four people trained so far. Since 2020, I have served as the Deputy Governor of Dnipropetrovsk region. We will continue our fight until every Russian aggressor is out of our country and our children can freely play outside again.

Accordova Marina,

30 years old from Kyiv.

Police Captain, Senior Inspector of the Department of Auto Service and Transport Support of the Patrol Police Department, in service since 2015 (since the beginning of the police reform in Ukraine)

My father is a former police officer and my mother works in a military hospital as a surgical nurse, providing the wounded with emergency medical care. I am a Police Captain. In my spare time, and there are not many such days, I volunteer for the Volunteer Hundred Volunteers. We are ordinary people living through extraordinary times.

In the summer of 2021, I was asked by our leadership to participate in the official parade of troops on the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. It was an incredible day with a majestic military parade, where all ranks of Ukrainian soldiers marched with pride. There was a spectacular air show in the sky above us. We celebrated as a nation, so proud to have our freedom and determined to work together to become an even better country.

On February 24th, at 5:13, all personnel were put on alert. It was the start of the Russian invasion, the beginning of hell. Millions of thoughts were in my head. No one believed it would really happen but it did, and now we fight to maintain the freedom we have enjoyed for 30 years. It is the only life I have known. I will not give it up. Thankfully, the rest of the free world has not sat idly by and allowed Putin to take our country. I want to see my grandfather and sister, who are in Chernihiv. I do not know how they are, as I have not been able to reach them for a week. The city is occupied. But I believe in our victory and that everything will be fine. Ukrainians are united! We will not be defeated! Glory to Ukraine ✊