Ordinary citizens across Kyiv are arming themselves as Russian forces close in on the capital city after two days of heavy attacks and hundreds of casualties.

Early Thursday morning, local time, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine. Russian troops began pushing their way into Ukraine through its northern, eastern, and southern borders minutes later.

As Russian forces approached Kyiv, the Ukrainian government urged all citizens and “patriots” to take up arms in defense of the country, stating that only an ID was needed and adding, “We give weapons to all patriots!”

In a tweet, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country.” “Be prepared to show your support for Ukraine in our city squares.”

They were, indeed.

According to Illia Ponomarenko of The Kyiv Independent, as of Friday afternoon local time, 18,000 rifles had been distributed to civilian defense forces on the streets of Kyiv.

According to BuzzFeed News, some fighters were dressed in camouflage, while others wore neon puffer coats. They were armed with AK-47s, AR-15s, and shotguns. They were spotted “on nearly every other street corner, beside local government buildings and cultural institutions, and on overpasses around the capital,” according to BuzzFeed. One social media video appeared to show firearms being delivered to anyone who wanted to fight.

Ukrainian government agencies also urged citizens to make Molotov cocktails, and the Ukrainian National Guard tweeted instructions on how to do so.

Among those taking up arms was Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former boxing champion who announced the formation of “territorial defense brigades” for volunteers with military experience.

“We are prepared to defend our city if necessary,” Klitschko said. Wladimir Klitschko, his brother, is also a former heavyweight champion who is fighting alongside Klitschko.

Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, has also stated that he is preparing a defense against Russia’s invasion of Kyiv, the seat of democratic power. Poroshenko told reporters that he is a member of a battalion for “territorial defense.” While speaking with CNN’s John Berman, he was seen holding a Kalashnikov rifle but stated that his unit does not yet have tanks, artillery, or an armed personnel carrier because “we just launched this process a couple of days ago.”

However, the Ukrainian public has been preparing for this moment for weeks.

Ukrainians from all walks of life have been practicing combat drills with current and former military members on the outskirts of Kyiv and other cities in preparation for Russia’s invasion, as Insider’s Julie Coleman reported.

“We will never surrender,” said one Ukrainian architect earlier this month to The Wall Street Journal. “We are using every opportunity to train. So I think Putin should be afraid of us.”

According to Ukraine’s interior ministry, the civilian fighters made a dent in Russia’s onslaught and were able to prevent Russian troops from advancing on Kyiv from the northwest.

As Russian troops moved into Kyiv early Friday morning, local time, Zelensky delivered an impassioned speech praising the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers and civilian fighters and condemning “the world’s most powerful forces” for “watching from afar.”

“Stop the enemy wherever you see it,” he instructed. “Ukraine’s fate is solely in the hands of Ukrainians. Nobody but ourselves will be able to control our lives. We’ve arrived at our destination. We have the truth on our side. It will be impossible to destroy our personality.”