Girl Sheltering in Kyiv Subway: 'We Just Have to Put Up With It'

15K people are said to be hunkered down there
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2022 8:34 AM CST
15K Are Now Hunkering in Kyiv Subway
People lie in the Kyiv subway on Feb. 24, 2022.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Blankets, clothing, and suitcases line the corridor. In one corner, a woman reads a book to a group of curious-looking children, per CNN. Some distance off, a man reads his own book in solitude in a subway train. There's an occasional bark or meow. This is the new normal in Kyiv, where the city's mayor says 15,000 people are camped out in the subway—in hallways, on platforms, in trains—in anticipation of a Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital. "It's not so comfortable," a 9-year-old girl living with her mother and cat in the Dorohozhychi station tells the New York Times. "But you see, this is the situation, and we just have to put up with it. It's better to be here than to get into a situation outside."

Above ground, Ukrainians are doing whatever they can to hinder the Russians, erecting concrete road barriers, rows of tires to burn as smoke screens, and even signs warning of antitank mines, per the Times. Though Western countries say Russia aimed to quickly overthrow Kyiv's government, a convoy of Russian tanks remains stalled about 20 miles north of the city a week into the invasion, "having been delayed by staunch Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion," Britain's defense ministry said in an intelligence update Thursday, per Reuters. "The column has made little discernible progress in over three days."

Only the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson has been taken by the Russians, who in failing to capture other cities, "escalat[ed] its bombardment of them," per Reuters. Parts of central Kharkiv have been turned to rubble, while officials in eastern Mariupol compared the situation on the ground to the siege of Leningrad in World War II. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that the shelling of civilians proved Ukrainian resistance had thwarted early plans. "We don't have the biggest territory ... we don't have nuclear arms, we don't provide oil and gas to international markets. But we do have our people. We do have our land. This is what we are fighting for," he said, per Reuters. A second round of peace talks is set for Thursday. (More Ukraine stories.)

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