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To Defeat Russia, Ukraine Needs to Turn More Bakers and Plumbers Into Soldiers


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Video by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein

Mr. Tucker and Ms. Epperlein are documentary filmmakers whose work focuses on armed conflict, human rights and extremism.

Michael Dumler, an American photographer, went to Ukraine to document the war. But when he arrived, he put down his camera and dedicated himself to addressing a more pressing need: training ordinary Ukrainians how to fight.

The scramble to stand up an army of citizen-soldiers against the Russian military has been a defining feature of the conflict in Ukraine. Western nations allied with Ukraine have been hesitant to endorse and fund foreign trainers inside the country because of concerns that it would lead to escalation. Instead, tens of thousands of soldiers have been sent elsewhere in Europe for training.

But in the Opinion Video above, Dumler argues that the most practical approach to training newly enlisted Ukrainians is inside Ukraine’s borders. And the need is vast.

“Bringing in another couple hundred qualified instructors is not going to escalate anything,” Dumler says. “It’s just going to save Ukrainian lives.”

Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker are a filmmaking couple based in New York and Berlin.

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Posted on 13 Jul 2023 11:00 link