: Women Warriors: supporting the war effort in eastern Ukraine and fighting for equality
Opinion18:54 Mar. 22, 2016

Women Warriors: supporting the war effort in eastern Ukraine and fighting for equality

Women involved in active combat in Donbas in spite of official ban

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence says female soldiers aren't fighting in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

But at the same time the data shows there are 14,000 women in the Ukrainian armed forces - more than 1,000 of which are in the Donbas region. More often than not, women who want to fight have to do so under false pretenses.

Read also From Camouflage to Catwalk: Ukraine's female soldiers breaking stereotypes

They sign up as cooks, medics or in other support roles but in reality they take part in active combat. Their other option is to join one of the many volunteer battalions operating in eastern Ukraine.

Should women be allowed to officially serve their country on the frontline? Helping up answer that question in the Viewpoint studio is Olena Maksymenko.

Read also Women in Arms: Young Ukrainians join military training course

Apart from being a writer and journalist Olena is a paramedic who has worked in eastern Ukraine with volunteer battalions. She says she is considering going into training to become a frontline fighter.

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