Ukrainian civilians get legal permission to shoot at Russian soldiers

Ukrainian civilian weaponPhoto: AP Photo / Bernat Armangue

An amendment to the law that came into force this week gives Ukrainian civilians permission to fire on enemy forces, Ukrainian media report.

The new law also allows foreigners and stateless persons with legal residence in Ukraine to acquire weapons and use them against Russian soldiers participating in the attack on Ukraine.

The Ministry of the Interior shall regulate the allocation of weapons. All handed out weapons and unused ammunition must be returned within ten days after the current state of emergency is lifted.

In the first days of the war, weapons and ammunition were distributed without further control, especially in the capital Kyiv. In several places, there was an exchange of fire which only ceased when a curfew was introduced.

Russian authorities criticize the permit that has now been granted.

“If someone with a weapon in hand attacks a Russian soldier, he will be a target,” a statement from the Kremlin noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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6 Comments on "Ukrainian civilians get legal permission to shoot at Russian soldiers"

  1. This blurring of civilians and soldiers produces massive death, as was seen on the Russian Front in World War II – although the Nazis were prone to war crimes anyway – and on Okinawa in 1945, when after being propagandized by the Japanese fascist militarists many of them fought alongside Japanese soldiers or tried to kill GIs be blowing themselves and the GIs up with concealed grenades, etc.

    Here is the quote from a study from the University of Oslo, no less, at

    Michael N. Schmitt

    The Normative Architecture
    „Direct participation in hostilities“ possesses a normative significance that was
    recognized over a half-century ago in the post-World War II Hostages Trial judg-
    The rule is established that a civilian who aids, abets or participates in the fighting is liable to punishment as a war criminal under the law of wars. Fighting is legitimate only for the combatant personnel of a country. It is only this group that is entitled to treatment as prisoners of war and incurs no liability beyond detention after capture or surrender. 1
    These standards were incorporated into the 1977 Protocol Additional I to the Geneva Conventions. 2 Paralleling the judgment, Article 43.2 defines combatant status
    through reference to direct participation when it provides that „[m]embers of the
    armed forces of a Party to the conflict (other than medical personnel and chaplains…) are combatants, that is to say, they have the right to participate directly in hostilities.“ In doing so, the article sets forth what is known as the „combatant privilege“  so long as a combatant has otherwise complied with humanitarian law, he or she may not be punished for directing acts of violence against the enemy.

    So it appears civilians caught with weapons in Ukraine could be summarily executed.

    But far worse, soldiers’ fear that civilians may be carrying weapons … especially concealed weapons as in Okinawa’s case … will be much more likely to kill civilians if they even suspect they *could* be armed, thus driving up the death count of the innocent astronomically.

    Of course, that will be great for Western media trying to paint the Russians as monsters in this, but I have read elsewhere that the Ukraine government is itself committing a war crime arming civilians who are not identifiable as official military personnel, apparently because of the heightened risk to innocent, unarmed civilians.

    • Vernon Childers | 11. March 2022 at 17:38 | Reply

      This is not going to turn out well. Now every citizen will be a target. The nation is committing suicide. As the old saying goes “Better dead than Red.” They may very well get their wish. Personally, I would rather live another day and be able to covertly resist. Passive-aggressive if you will.

  2. In other words, it appears that arming civilians who aren’t made official, uniformed members of a military is not just not legal – it is criminal.

    If anyone here can find evidence to the contrary, please share it.

  3. I posted a question about this on a political discussion forum for U.S. Military Academy, West Point, graduates. (I didn’t graduate, but they allow me to participate.)
    The one fellow who substantively responded said that the civilians are to be classed as militia with conspicuous arm bands being their uniform.
    We shall see how that works out, I guess.

    • Vernon Childers | 11. March 2022 at 17:54 | Reply

      Now every citizen has a target painted on their front and back as the Russian soldier see’s it. No more standing in the middle of the road trying to block it, and this is going to work out well. They think there has been a high body count of the citizenry so far now it will go way up.

      This was done on purpose knowing what the outcome will be, in order to make the Russias look even worse at the expense of the citizens.

  4. Hector Hernandez | 11. March 2022 at 11:20 | Reply

    Let’s see. first summarizing the first and second world war where a large % (millions) of the dead of the Russian troops were indiscipline….

    now today… this measure is crazy… because there are great chances that they will kill each other… remember one thing is military education and another is private militia or whatever you call it…

    a clearer example… we are going to lower the price of alcohol by 85% from one day to the next… I think that is understood, right?

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