'Can't lose faith': Ukrainians cling to hope in Kyiv's subway bomb shelters
Nearly 800 people crowd into an underground metro station in Ukrainian capital to take cover from Russian strikes
In Kyiv, the sounds of sirens and explosions ring out all through the day and night.
With no end in sight to Russia’s war on Ukraine, many in the Ukrainian capital are still seeking shelter in what seems to be the safest place: underground.
Subway stations, underground car parks and basements of buildings are brimming with people trying to take cover from the bombs and missiles threatening their lives since last week.
They have all reason to be fearful as, according to Ukrainian authorities, over 2,000 civilians have been killed since Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24.
For Anya, 23, a metro station “somehow feels safe” because it is “deep enough underground.”
Her house is just 10 minutes from the station where she has taken refuge for six days now.
There are nearly 800 people who have been using the station as a bomb shelter, she said.
“We can’t hear the explosions down there at all,” she told Anadolu Agency.
“Except yesterday’s blast, the one near the television tower,” she said, referring to a Russian strike on a Kyiv TV tower on Tuesday evening.
According to Ukrainian authorities, at least five people were killed and five more injured when two Russian missiles hit the tower, disrupting some access to news and broadcasts.
“Those who were on the street yesterday were very scared because that television tower is very close to this place,” she said.
Anya and many others use a smartphone application that gives alerts whenever air raid sirens go off in the city.
“People who live nearby try to leave the shelter in the mornings to grab some clothes or take a shower,” she said.
“We always check the notifications before going outside,” she said.
According to Anya, there is no shortage of food or water in their underground shelter.
There were some problems initially as we were “confused” during the first few days of the war, but local businesses have since helped us with food and other essential things, she added.
“In such times, it is vital to have faith and not lose hope,” said Anya.
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