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Ukrainians Google ‘how to make a molotov cocktail’ after defense minister’s call to arms

A training session on how to use molotov cocktails is conducted at an abandoned factory in Kyiv on Feb. 6. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)
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LONDON — Ukrainians flocked online Friday to look up a recipe: molotov cocktails.

They did so after the country’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, urged civilians to help “resist” Russian invasion forces, which attacked Ukraine on Thursday and neared the capital, Kyiv, on Friday.

Maliar said in a Facebook post Friday that the Russian invaders have “already felt the power” of Ukraine’s military forces. “But it is important that everyone resists,” she added.

Ukrainians are hurling molotov cocktails at Russians. Hungarians and Finns once did the same.

She called on Ukrainians to make the homemade weapons and take up arms and join territorial defense forces, which she noted have simplified their recruitment procedures.

Searches for “how to make a molotov cocktail” spiked in Ukraine in the last 24 hours, according to Google search data.

Molotov cocktails are improvised incendiary devices, made by pouring a flammable liquid into a glass bottle and plugging it with a cloth “fuse” before setting it on fire.

Search interest was initially highest in the northeastern regions of Ukraine, which were first attacked by Russian forces, including Slobozhanshchyna, where Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv is located.

The Russian weaponry being used to attack Ukraine

Google searches also showed a popular variation on “how to make a molotov cocktail in the forest.” As forces moved closer to Kyiv throughout Friday, search interest on how to make the devices skyrocketed in the capital region, home to nearly 3 million people, overtaking the rest of the country.

“This is our land,” Maliar wrote. “We do everything to make it very difficult for the enemy. . . . Victory will be ours!”

Adela Suliman contributed to this report.

For a second day, explosions were heard and felt in Ukraine as Russia continued its country-wide attack on Feb. 25. (Video: Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post)