Former Miss Ukraine joins fight against Russian army

Former Miss Ukraine Anastasiia Lenna has traded in her high heels for combat boots and has taken up arms to fight off Vladimir Putin’s army, with ‘long queues’ of Ukraine citizens waiting to be issued weapons at recruitment centres in the capital of Kyiv.

In a post to her official Instagram page, Lenna, Ukraine’s 2015 representative in the Miss Grand International beauty contest, displayed an assault rifle with the hashtags #handsoffukriane #standwithukraine.

She is one of many volunteers who have answered the call to defend their home country.

On Thursday, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with dozens reported dead after cities across the country were targeted with weapons strikes, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

READ: Curfew extended as Russian troops press on capital

 In a dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by leading NATO powers.

Lenna, who won the Miss Ukraine competition in 2015, posted an image of herself on Instagram as she announced she had joined the country’s resistance against Russian troops. 

Lenna, who usually works as a public relations manager in Turkey, posted the image alongside two hashtags – stand with Ukraine and hands off Ukraine. 

It is not the first time she has been pictured with a gun and previous posts appear to show her training with weapons in wooded arenas and indoor training grounds. 

She joins hundreds of volunteers, among them a man with a prosthetic leg and a young couple who brought forward their wedding from May to tie the knot before joining the civil defence force the next day.

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