War in Ukraine: People in Kiev seek shelter in subway tunnels


They are images that show the whole desperation: Fearing Russian bombs, people are sitting and lying on the cold floor of the subway stations in the capital Kiev.

The administration had triggered the air alarm on Thursday and called on people to get to safety in air raid shelters. Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko (50) imposed a night curfew. Four metro stations were designated as air raid shelters.

Families with children and sometimes their pets spent the night there with makeshift blankets on the floor.

It’s about survival



Wrapped in blankets and some with insulating mats, people try to get a little sleepPhoto: Emilio Morenatti/dpa

If you could, you brought sleeping mats with you. Others just had to sit down on the cold floor.

In other cities in Ukraine, including Kharkiv with 1.5 million inhabitants, people sought shelter in the subway stations.

Dramatic images are shared on social networks. They show people lying close together on the floor.


People sit on the stairs of a metro station in Kiev for fear of Putin's bombs

In Kiev, fearful of Putin’s bombs, people sit on the steps of a metro stationPhoto: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


Karte/Map: Putin's war against Ukraine

Russian troops are apparently trying to encircle Kiev. Several explosions were heard in Kiev early Friday morning. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, this was a successful operation of the Ukrainian air defenses: a Russian jet was shot down over the capital!


These people brought belongings in plastic bags

These people brought belongings in plastic bagsPhoto: Zoya Shu/dpa

Photos of the crash site of the debris showed severe damage to a residential building. The fire brigade is currently in the process of extinguishing the building.


For the children, these are traumatic experiences.  At the foot of this girl is her satchel

For the children, these are traumatic experiences. At the foot of this girl is her satchelPhoto: Emilio Morenatti/dpa

According to the United Nations, 100,000 Ukrainians are fleeing Putin’s soldiers. A traffic jam formed on the border with Slovakia in the afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, Russian troops took control of the Hostomel military airport, which is only 25 kilometers from Kiev. Shortly after 5 p.m., 20 Russian helicopters began dropping paratroopers at Hostomel. The airport continues to be contested.


People are sitting everywhere in the aisles.  A woman brought a stuffed animal

People are sitting everywhere in the aisles. A woman brought a stuffed animalPhoto: Zoya Shu/dpa

In their major attack on Ukraine, the Russian armed forces advanced to the greater Kiev area within a few hours on Thursday.


Many don't even have blankets or sleeping pads and have to sit directly on the floor

Many don’t even have blankets or sleeping pads and have to sit directly on the floorPhoto: Emilio Morenatti/dpa

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