Ukraine's parliament passed a law allowing citizens to carry firearms, and a local NGO official said
February 24, 2022 1:55 AM
The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Wednesday which allowed citizens to carry guns in public.
Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Previously, citizens could only have firearms in private.According to the Guardian, gun stores in Kyiv are selling out following the news.
The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Wednesday, which allows citizens to carry firearms in public, alongside the enactment of a state of emergency, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to eastern Ukraine on Monday.
Previously, Ukrainian citizens were barred from carrying guns outside of their homes.
"Now it's the intention of the parliament is to liberalize ownership of armaments by citizens," Dmytro Shulga, the European Programme Director at the International Renaissance Foundation, an NGO in Kyiv, told Insider. "And I think that this is very popular news now."
The passage of the law followed the approval of a state of emergency in Ukraine.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent people's republics as opposed to belonging to Ukraine.
In the weeks prior, the Kremlin has mobilized more than 150,000 Russian troops along Ukraine's borders.
Prior to parliament voting in favor ofthe state of emergency measures on Wednesday, Ukrainian officials were told Tuesday morning local Kyiv time by US intelligence officials that Russia will likely begin an invasion into eastern Ukraine within the next 48 hours.
According to the Guardian, gun stores in Kyiv are selling a much higher volume of guns than usual, including AR-10s and AR-15s. The report added that close to 400,000 Ukrainians have combat experience.
Shulga added that he believed that with its own training and US and EU military backing, the Ukrainian army itself is better trained than in 2014.
"There's a feeling that Ukrainians will fight. I see it. I observe it," Shulga, who as of Wednesday afternoon has been carrying on with his daily life, told Insider. "If the Russians want to come to our home, we will meet them."