'We hate Putin': Moment ex-president brandishes Kalashnikov rifle on streets of Ukraine

·4 min read

A former Ukrainian president brandished a Kalashnikov during a live TV interview as citizens in the war-torn country prepare to take up arms and fight Russian enemy troops.

Petro Poroshenko said he would be fighting on the streets of Ukraine if Russian soldiers try to seize it, as he showed the rifle and two machine guns which his group were carrying.

Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko shows a Kalashnikov during a live TV interview (CNN)
Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko shows a Kalashnikov during a live TV interview (CNN)

It comes as Russian troops close in on Kyiv, cutting off key airports and nearby landmarks as they try to encircle the city.

There have been reports Russia has offered to have peace talks in Minsk with Ukraine, but analysts say it is likely the conditions for these talks would amount to surrender.

He told CNN: "Vladimir Putin is just simply mad, he is just simply crazy, he's just simply evil, to come here to kill Ukrainians."

During the interview, Poroshenko - who served as president from 2014 to 2019 - said Ukraine will not back down against Russia, after Putin's forces launched a full-scale invasion on Thursday.

"We have lost about 130 Ukrainian soldiers and about 800 Russian soldiers were killed just yesterday under the report of the Ukrainian minister of defence," he said.

"I just want to declare Putin will not stop Ukraine in our movement to the European Union.

"That is exactly why we shall secure Ukraine today, to support Ukraine we will stand tomorrow."

Lawmakers Sviatoslav Vakarchuk and Sviatoslav Yurash attend the session of Parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 31, 2019. (Photo by Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ukrainian politician Sviatoslav Yurash (pictured right) told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he was holding an AK-47 while being interviewed on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Getty)

The extraordinary footage of Poroshenko gives an insight into the all-out response taken by Ukraine.

In a separate example on Friday morning, a Ukrainian MP revealed he had a machine gun in front of him while giving a BBC interview.

Sviatoslav Yurash was speaking with Radio 4's Today programme on Friday morning as Russian troops continued to advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Asked by presenter Nick Robinson what Ukrainians would do if Russia's Vladimir Putin "wins this battle", Yurash replied: "That’s exactly why I’m looking at my AK47 in front of me."

He said Ukraine's citizens were already gathering at recruitment stations and they would be "giving everyone who wants to help Ukraine fight the chance to do that".

Watch: Video appears to show military vehicles at Chernobyl

"We are arming people who will be taking that fight to the Russians in every way," he told the BBC.

"We are the biggest nation in Europe, we are a nation of 40 million people and we are not going to just stand idly by as Russia does as it wants all across its borders.

"Again, we will fight with everything we have and with all the support the world can provide us."

Read more: Ukrainian woman who became bloodied face of war: 'I never thought this would happen in my lifetime.'

The Ukrainian politician was interrupted by Robinson, who asked: "Let me just be clear - you have an AK47. Do you know how to use it? Have you been trained? Do you have ammunition? Is this, in other words, something you seriously expect to use in the days and weeks to come?"

Yurash replied that he had "very rudimentary" knowledge of how to use the weapon but was with people who could help him.

A general view of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022. Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the invading troops were targeting civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital. Pre-dawn blasts in Kyiv set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a full-scale ground invasion and air assault on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced at least 100,000 people.
 / AFP / Daniel LEAL
Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kyiv on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the invading troops were targeting civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital. (AFP)

He went on: "These are skills you pick up very fast when you are fighting for your life.

The politician added: "That’s exactly the appeal to the world - we need your support, we need your help. Russia is violating every single international law in existence and we need to win this fight not just for us but for international law to be sustained."

Yurash later posted a picture on his twitter feed of him clutching an AK-47 on the streets.

Sviatoslav Yurash was giving an interview with Radio 4's Today programme on Friday morning as Russian troops continued to advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Yurash said it would be a long night. (Twitter)

Ukrainian troops have been putting up fierce resistance. On Friday the UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said Russia had failed to achieve any of its major objectives in the first 24 hours of its invasion.

However, forces continue to march across large areas of Ukraine.

Kyiv was hit by "horrific" air strikes as fighting reached the outskirts of the capital overnight, before gunfire was reported in the city centre.