Ukrainian blacksmiths pivot from medieval body armour to anti-tank spikes to defend cities

 Ukrainian blacksmiths pivot from medieval body armour to anti-tank spikes to defend cities

Blacksmiths in Ukraine are shifting their focus from medieval body armour to anti-tank obstacles to block Russian vehicles, as they attempt to thwart the invasion.

As recently as two weeks ago, Workshop Art and Steel’s Facebook page was flooded with photographs of hand-made steel bascinets, body armour and helmets, produced “for sport and historical reenactment”.

But now, as the war in Ukraine intensifies, the forge has shifted to welding anti-tank spikes to defend their home from invasion.

“Helping to protect the city,” the workshop posted online, alongside images and videos of hundreds of chunky steel spikes, many linked by thick chains.

“Who knows how to weld, make ‘hedgehogs’ for blokpostív?”

The team – based in Rivne, a city in eastern Ukraine that is yet to come under Russian fire – told The Telegraph they have so far made several hundred spikes in preparation for a worst-case scenario.

“Half [are] connected by chains, the rest are separate,” said one of the blacksmiths at the workshop, who asked not to be named. “Such spikes are made in all cities of Ukraine, we are not the only ones.

“Many [forges] create anti-tank barriers, some make stoves to heat the military,” he added. “All the masters who know how to work with metal are trying to help the army in some way.

“Such assistance is also needed for the checkpoints that have been created on roads in every city,” the blacksmith said. “Russia did not expect such resistance.”

The pivot is yet another example of how Ukrainian civilians are supporting troops and resisting Russia’s advance.

In Kyiv, construction workers who once built homes and offices are also welding salvaged girders into triangular “hedgehog” barricades, plus smaller barriers aimed at stopping wheeled vehicles in their tracks.

“We build things. We do not know how to fight, but we knew we could be useful,” Zakhar, a foreman, told Reuters this week.


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