Putin’s missiles hit Mykolaiv; civilians from ‘annexed’ Kherson flee to Russia as Ukrainians advance

Kyiv residents are adding basements to their daily lives

As Kyiv residents rushed to shelters and basements on Tuesday morning – where they lingered for hours preparing for an attack that never happened – many said that they clung to a fragile sense of normalcy, even as life moved underground.

File photo of a teacher visiting a basement under a school in Kyiv, prepared as a shelter and classroom in the weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. (Lynsey Addario/The New York Times)

Kateryna Druzenko, 30, took refuge in a cafe in the basement of a hotel in Kyiv on Tuesday after the siren went off. She says she went to the cafe to shelter with friends a day after a missile barrage left at least five people dead in the center of town. Fourteen other people were killed elsewhere in the country.

“Unfortunately, we get used to what’s going on around us,” she said. “And when you’re among close people, it’s a lot easier to get through that.”

For months, many residents of the capital had chosen not to seek refuge when the sirens sounded. But after Monday’s assault, many took the warnings seriously, even as they expressed strong feelings of defiance. “This time there was not just one particular fear,” Druzenko added. “You feel anger.”

The people of Kyiv, shaken by months of war, were prepared, having taken similar precautions at the start of the conflict. At the same time, some cafes, hotels and shops have taken to opening their basements to people seeking safety. (Read more)

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