The subway stations of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, have become shelters for the remaining residents. The Ukrainians live in this city, which Russia seeks to encircle, due to the impact of the bombing and the difficulty of distributing aid and relief materials.
A subway station in this city has been turned into an actual residential neighborhood. Outside, men and women sit on the road, talking in low voices and watching the few passing by. Inside the metro, many children and elderly people are crammed with their things and sleeping mats here and there.
The first to arrive at the station booked a trailer for him and his family, while the rest settled on the sidewalks to spread mattresses and turn them into “rooms” for bedrooms, dining and seating.
“We consider our place of residence classified information, we don’t want to say anything…the Russians will bomb us,” says one of the people taking shelter in the subway station.
On the outskirts of Kharkiv’s commercial center, families are also turning to metro stations, which are considered safer because of their depth and equipment than Soviet-era authorities as nuclear bunkers.