Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has met with fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military and from ordinary citizens, who have abandoned their normal humdrum lives and loved ones to take up arms and defend the mother country with AK-47 assault rifles, homemade incendiary Molotov cocktails, and even by kneeling to block Russian tanks. Some are likely to be seasoned army veterans with combat experience, including fighting Russian forces in the 2014 annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas region. But others are reported to have never held a gun in their life. Why would Ukrainians, or indeed any people, voluntarily face ‘pain, dirt, blood, and death’, in the words of President Zelensky? Drawing on survey evidence, in the new EUROPP LSE blog Pippa Norris and Kseniya Kizilova explain who among the Ukrainian population is willing to fight, and what motivates their decision to take up arms.