68-year-old Ekaterina Bilyik is fondly known as ‘The Punisher’ in her home town of Zhidaev, Ukraine. Contrary to her appearance, the frail-looking grandmother is a total badass – she recently completed a gruelling military training alongside army cadets four decades younger than her.
The amount of energy and enthusiasm that she displayed during training is quite awe-inspiring. Footage from the training camp shows her rolling over snow-covered fields, leaping high, and firing assault rifles along with all the young men in her troop. And believe it or not, she is now training to take part in the raging battle in eastern Ukraine.
Photo: video caption
Mrs Bilyik said that the horrific scenes of carnage during clashes between the Russian-backed separatists and pro-Ukraine fighters spurred her on to sign up for military training. Mother of three and grandmother to five, the pensioner from the town of Zhidaev said she doesn’t regard age as a barrier while fighting for your country.
“I wanted to set an example, to show young people that no matter how old you are you can make a difference, and that was why I decided to sign up,” she passionately explained. “I have lived here all my life and we survived the Nazi occupation and the Soviets, and I believe in standing up for what’s right and making sure we never see occupation again.”
Photo via ipress.ua
According to army spokesperson Nataliya Ishenko, Mrs Bilyik did take part in the same military training as all the other recruits. She even passed all the tests and can now use a gun with the same level of accuracy as the others. Ekaterina says she is ready to serve her nation on the war front.
Mrs Bilyik’s inspiring statements have earned her the nickname ‘The Punisher’ among local media agencies. “We need to give them the message that Ukraine is a free country, and if they don’t like it, they can go back to Russia,” she said. Her insurmountable spirit and patriotism might just serve as a magic pill to raise the morale of soldiers fighting for the nation!