Ukrainians are adjusting to the new reality of war: NPR


A Civil Defense guard stands at a checkpoint in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday. Russian troops stormed the Ukrainian capital and street fighting broke out as city officials urged residents to take shelter.

Emilio Morenatti/AP


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Emilio Morenatti/AP

Ukrainians are adjusting to the new reality of war: NPR

A Civil Defense guard stands at a checkpoint in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday. Russian troops stormed the Ukrainian capital and street fighting broke out as city officials urged residents to take shelter.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

After a night of heavy fighting in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, residents are grappling with the new reality of war in daily life.

In just a few days, Russian troops attacked more, injuring civilians as well as military targets. It is estimated that more than 120,000 Ukrainians have already fled the country.

Ukrainian journalist Andriy Kulykov, who was in Kyiv covering the conflict for Hromadske Radio, told NPR’s Scott Simon he saw explosions in the sky and felt his windows rattle during the night. Kulykov also heard automatic rifle fire during the night.

“I also saw very, very few people in cars on the streets,” Kulykov says.

Ukrainians are adjusting to the new reality of war: NPR

Ukrainian journalist Andriy Kulykov traveled to Kyiv to cover the conflict for Hromadske Radio.

Andriy Kulykov


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Andriy Kulykov

Ukrainians are adjusting to the new reality of war: NPR

Ukrainian journalist Andriy Kulykov traveled to Kyiv to cover the conflict for Hromadske Radio.

Andriy Kulykov

He says that about a 5-minute walk from his house, a rocket hit a new high-rise building, which has yet to be inhabited. But nearby, in another building, two civilians died when their home was hit, he said.

The Associated Press reported that US officials offered President Volodymyr Zelensky the chance to evacuate Ukraine, but he refused, saying “the fight is there”.

Ukrainians closely monitor President Zelenskyy’s updates

Kulykov says Ukrainians are eagerly listening to Zelenskyy’s messages. “Some of them are very enthusiastic about what he’s saying, some of them, of course, aren’t. But that’s the nature of a democratic society,” Kulykov says.

He says he has spoken to Ukrainians who think Zelensky should make more concessions to Russia, but the prevailing sentiment is that the Ukrainian president stands with his people and will stay with them.

Regarding how Ukrainians feel about the United States, Kulykov says many were annoyed with President Biden before the attacks began, believing his repeated warnings of an impending Russian invasion only “exacerbated the tensions”. But after the attacks began, Kulykov says, attitudes toward Biden changed significantly.

“We never doubted the general sympathy of the American people,” he said.

Kulykov says it is currently unclear whether Ukrainian forces will be able to delay Russian advances. But he says many Ukrainians are taking up arms, helping police and defense forces.

“I’m pretty sure the resistance is strong. … There were predictions that Ukraine would be subjugated for 24 hours. So far we have been resisting for more than two days,” Kulykov said.


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