Valentyna Katkova, 77, did not know what to cry about: staying in the kyiv metro to escape old age and illness or Russian bombs.
Like Ms. Katkova, about 200 people, dressed in pink coats and knitted hats, sought refuge with Russian forces in an attempt to encircle the Syred metro station in the northwestern capital, Ukraine.
While most of them sleep on blankets or mattresses on the floor of the platform or even in corridors or tents, Ms Katkova and other seniors prefer the basic comfort of metro trains, each with its own small corner.
Ms. Katkova’s three pseudo-blue leather seats are made entirely of which she has spread a blanket over. It is impossible to lie down without bending the legs. In a lodge, a bottle of water and a cup.
She explained that she lived in Ukraine on the date engraved in her memory, “since February 24”, the day of the liberation of her army in Ukraine.
Her daughter, son-in-law and their two children spend their nights on the station platform.
“I’m here just like the old people. I’m sleeping in the car because I had a stroke and a heart attack. And the younger ones, the kids are on the floor,” he says.
– Unity –
The kyiv metro, which has some of the deepest stations in the world, now serves as an airstrikes shelter for thousands of people living in the capital.
The rotation of trains continues on the same route, while others welcome standard trains that serve as temporary shelters for refugees.
At this station, located at a depth of about sixty meters, the hue of life has been reconstructed. A television station was established, and the film “Pirates of the Caribbean” aired on. On a piece of paper placed on the floor, a colored pencil drawing represents a tank with the Ukrainian flag and the following caption: “Glory to Ukraine”.
Nina Piddoubna, 71, who lives in the car next to Ms Katkova, explains that it is not easy to adapt to this new environment.
At first, she says, “I felt so bad, I had a fever,” and her clear eyes were underlined by purple pockets. Once she fainted, but the subway staff took care of her.
Olena Gusseva, a 73-year-old woman with beautiful grooves, feels the thought “never felt before”. “People are very welcoming and attentive to each other,” he notes.
“The depth here allows you to be (safe),” says Ms. Kauseva.
So of course, he admits, “Moisture and conditions put you at risk for the common cold.” “But you come anyway, because being alive is so important.”