KYIV, Ukraine — In a city where daily routines have been devastated by relentless Russian missile strikes, unpredictable power outages and an unreliable water supply, Kyiv residents know that at any given time, they may have to spend a few hours in a shelter. from air strikes.
It has been 13 days since the last major salvo of Russian missiles was fired at targets across Ukraine, the longest period without any explosions in and around the capital since Moscow launched its assault on the country’s energy infrastructure in early October. For days, Ukrainian officials have been warning that another attack is imminent.
So when air raid alerts sounded across Kyiv early Monday afternoon, not many people were surprised. Sirens followed warnings of the entry of missiles, and soon after, the sound of air defense systems was heard over the capital.
“Honestly, I feel great this time,” said Olha Cutross, 34. “For two weeks there have been reports that this might happen, and then you live in constant tension.”
Mrs. Kotrus was sitting on the floor of a metro station in Kyiv with her mother, a caged cat and her dog. The dog, who was dressed in a blue uniform to keep him warm in the winter cold, was visibly nervous. Mrs. Cotters was angry and fed up.
She joins a crowd of hundreds of people deep underground at the Golden Gate metro station, named after the main fortification that served as the entrance to the city 1,000 years ago.
But by evening the famous gate was no longer lit, and it went into darkness like most of the city. Monday’s barrage of missiles targeting sites across the country was the eighth such wave of attacks on key energy infrastructure targets, according to the national utility operator, Ukrenergo.
“Unfortunately, power infrastructure facilities have already been bombed and an emergency blackout has occurred because of this,” Okernergo said in a statement.
Local officials said at least 10 rockets targeted Kyiv on Monday. Officials said nine fell over the capital.
Like all those interviewed in Kyiv, Mrs. Cotros’ wrath was directed at Russia and her frustration was the result of many anxious days and long, dark, powerless nights.
Anna Sokolova, 21, said she had experienced no electricity and water for two weeks, since the last wave of missiles. Ms. Sokolova lives near a local utility headquarters that has been targeted in recent Russian strikes, and said she always takes refuge when the alarms go off.
But she did not want to complain about her hardships, saying that they were nothing compared to what her friends, the soldiers fighting on the front lines, had to suffer.
Lyumila Vonifatova, 66, agreed.
“We all understand that without electricity, life becomes impossible,” she said. “However, we will just have to find a way to get past it.”
She passed the time in the bunker of the subway by looking at a small display of images from this war and others before it.
“Despite all the loss of life and economic hardship, we will survive until the end,” she said. “Because this is a fight for our freedom.”
But the six-year-old son of Tetiana Tkachenko is too young to understand this. She said he gets terrified every time the alarms go off.
“He was crying, running around,” Ms. Tkachenko said, when the sirens began to sound. He quickly put on warm clothes and begged to “go to the subway,” she said.
I grabbed two folding chairs, previously used for the park or the beach. But now they’re part of the family’s new routine, when sirens sound and they head deep underground.
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