The attacks by Russian troops on Ukraine have been going on for seven days, and some of the country’s larger cities are under constant fire. Instead of birdsong, cars humming and people talking, there was silence, which, however, is interrupted every half hour by the wailing of sirens, which signal another air raid alarm. Pictures of bombed apartment buildings and destroyed streets as well as crying children and desperate, bloody faces show the terror in which people in Ukraine have had to eke out their existence for the past week. Fearing the dangers lurking on the surface, many of them no longer dare to venture out onto the streets – and spend not only their nights but every moment of the day in the aisles of subway stations.
Especially in the capital Kyiv, which, as Putin’s declared target, is the focus of most attacks, countless citizens have taken their lives completely underground as a precaution. On Wednesday, Viktor Brahinsky, head of the Kyiv metro, announced official figures: More than 15,000 people use the Kiev metro at all times, including 84 infants, 413 children of preschool and school age, according to Brahinsky. “Our team is exhausted, but we are doing everything we can to save the lives of innocent civilians,” explains the subway boss.