in kyiv, living with the routine of Russian night attacks

in kyiv, living with the routine of Russian night attacks

2023-05-28 14:57:14

When the alarm siren sounded in the streets of Kiev, around one o’clock in the morning, Bohdana got up with a sigh and took her backpack, which she puts at the foot of her bed every evening. Inside, a bottle of water, a light duvet, and a floor mat, enough to spend the night in the metro. On the way to the station, the young woman met the Kievans who refused to stay at home when the Russians bombarded the Ukrainian capital. Most of the walkers in a hurry are mothers, sometimes running with their stroller, accompanied by young children.

Once sheltered underground, everyone returned to their usual place. Reassured, Bohdana fell asleep for four hours, then returned home, the alert passed. Before starting a new and tiring working day.

The scene is repeated about three times a week, depending on the bombardments of the Russian army, since the beginning of May. On the night of Saturday May 27 to Sunday May 28, for example, the Ukrainian air defense says shot down 52 of the 54 suicide drones Iranian-made aircraft launched across the country – including more than 40 in the capital. In kyiv, debris falling on a gas station claimed the life of a 41-year-old man and injured two other people.

But the victims have become rarer over the weeks, due to the reinforcement of the ground-air defenses. Despite the low effectiveness of these night raids, the Russians continued their bombing campaign against major urban centers to keep the pressure on a tired but still determined population.

Employees sleeping in the office

“Yes, it is exhausting on a daily basis”, says Bohdana. She never really got used to these attacks, unlike the majority of her compatriots. «There are three ways to reactcontinues this activist who raises funds for the soldiers. A small minority continue to go to the metro, another settle in a corridor far from the windows, and a third group, by far the largest, stay in bed trying to find sleep despite the explosions.» But when the anti-missile batteries activate for almost an hour against the deadly projectiles, even heavy sleepers are forced to open their eyes to the sound of explosions.

Companies have become accustomed to seeing their employees go to the office a little later, after these short nights. “At home, we often see people sleeping on the sofas during the day”says a sociologist from the Kantar polling institute, whose premises are located near sensitive targets.

According to him, it will take much more to break the morale of the population who thinks they have lived through the worst, last winter, during the campaign of massive bombardments against the electrical installations of the big cities. «I saw the shells pass in the sky through my windowcontinues one of his colleagues. It’s much quieter today. I sleep better and trust our ground-to-air defense to defend us.»


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