Ordinary folk take up military training over Russia threat

People take part in an endurance march during a territorial defence training organised by paramilitary group SJS Strzelec (Shooters Association) in the forest near Minsk Mazowiecki, eastern Poland March 14, 2014. REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — NATO aircraft scream across eastern European skies and American armored vehicles rumble near the border with Russia on a mission to reassure citizens that they’re safe from Russian aggression.

But these days, ordinary people aren’t taking any chances.

In Poland, doctors, shopkeepers, lawmakers and others are heeding a call to receive military training in case of an invasion. Neighboring Lithuania is restoring the draft and teaching citizens what to do in case of war. Nearby Latvia has plans to give university students military training next year.

The drive to teach ordinary people how to use weapons and take cover under fire reflects soaring anxiety among people in a region where memories of Moscow’s domination — which ended only in the 1990s — remain raw. People worry that their security and hard-won independence are threatened as saber-rattling intensifies between the West and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, where more than 6,000 people have died.

In Poland, the oldest generation remembers the Soviet Army’s invasion in 1939, at the start of World War II. Younger people remain traumatized by the repression of the communist regime that lasted more than four decades…

  • Brett_McS

    The Katyn massacres of thousands of Polish soldiers was carried out by the Soviet NKVD; not by the Germans, as was said at the time to avoid offending the Soviet allies.

  • mauser 98

    private state militias in the US are growing fast. armed to the teeth

    • UCSPanther

      Civilians are arming up, wherever possible…

  • Dana Garcia

    Seems like old times somehow…


  • Gettingby

    You end war by stating and meaning…”Any belligerent nation that invades the internationally agreed upon sovereign territory of another will A) Be resisted by any means necessary B) Will pay as the aggressors by having every man, women, and child exterminated and you lands given to others.

    • Crom Bann

      Yeah, genocide of innocents rarely flies, you are an idiot.

  • Are they drafting horses and oxen too?

    • Frau Katze

      Mr Smartass!

  • simus1

    Wise people.
    Learning to use any particular weapon can be a matter of days.
    Being fit enough to cope with combat and surviving all that it can throw your way to fight another day can take many months.