Kira Rudik, a member of Ukraine's parliament, had been going about daily life just a few days ago, holding meetings and discussing legislation even as the threat of a Russian invasion loomed.
"And then one day, you just know they're coming," said Rudik, speaking to CNN from the capital city Kyiv. "And then you have to do something. And that's when you get a gun and then you learn how to shoot it."
Rudik posted a photo of herself holding a gun on Twitter late Friday, captioned: "Our women will protect our soil the same way as our men." The post has since circulated widely online, with more than 91,000 likes on Twitter.
"It was super unusual and super crazy for myself to understand and realize that I'm holding a gun and I'm ready to bear arms, and I'm ready to go and shoot other human beings," Rudik said early Saturday. "And the reason for that change was because Russian soldiers are coming to Kyiv and Russian soldiers are trying to take what is actually not theirs."
She and her family are now hiding in a bomb shelter as heavy fighting intensifies, with explosions heard and seen in the city in the early hours of Saturday.
But, she added, "We are actually fighting them very, very hard ... (Putin) underestimated the readiness of our army, and he underestimated that on every step of the way of his soldiers, they were given really hard resistance."
"People are arming themselves. People are fighting them for every inch of our soil," she said. "We are not leaving because this is our city. This is our country."