As the war in Ukraine continues in full force, life in the east of the country has rapidly begun to normalize. In the early days of the war, the Russian army, which wanted to occupy Kiev but failed to achieve its objectives, concentrated all its forces on Donbas, creating a breathtaking atmosphere for the rest of the country, even if it was to heal the wounds. .
As the bloody conflicts in the east of the country continued in full force, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes began to open one by one in and around the capital Kyiv.
People who still experience the deepest pain of war mourn their loss and don’t even know where their family members are. “We are tired of being afraid! We are trying to move on with our lives, but on the other hand, we know that the pain is always with us.” it says.
How do millions of people, who want to end the war as quickly as possible and live freely in their destroyed cities, maintain life during the uncertain period they are in? How does your daily life in Kiev continue, as you try to heal the wounds of war and return to “normal”?
A group of young people at a birthday party in a mobile bar in Kiev. Photo: AP
‘WELCOME TO NEW BERLIN!’
Strolling through the street markets that have begun to settle with the end of the conflicts around Kiev, one can see that life has returned to its former normal. Millions of people are coming out of their shelters to meet people, socialize and spend time with their friends.
Especially for people who have been under siege and confined to bunkers in recent months, spending as much time outside as possible is a lifesaver.
A well-known Kiev-based DJ who hasn’t left the city plays techno music for his customers at the second-hand clothing market he’s established. On the one hand, he welcomes his clients to the “new Berlin”, as if to draw attention to the geopolitical crisis and the Cold War era.
‘WE DONATE ALL THE MONEY WE EARN TO THE ARMED FORCES’
Of course, despite these efforts to relax in the capital, the spirit of solidarity is also developing. For example, most of the local revenue is donated to the Ukrainian army.
Yana Koval, who works as a clerk in a clothing store, “We donated all the money we earned at the store they opened early in the morning to the military” after saying “We are here for them” He doesn’t stop saying.
The balance of the war in Ukraine is emerging day by day. Hundreds of civilians were found to have disappeared as the war continued. It is not known exactly whether they lost their lives or not. As there was no official institution, families began to look for their relatives like a detective.
While many families flocked to the parks due to the partial comfort that came four months later, most young people began to spend time at the entertainment venues that were starting to open.
There were no air strikes around the city of Kyiv for two weeks as the Russian army significantly changed its military objectives. Although authorities sound the air raid sirens at certain times of the day, most city residents ignore the warnings.
‘MARKS ARE DONE, BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY IS ORGANIZED’
As the curfew, which has been imposed at 11 pm since the beginning of the war, continues, Kievans are holding house parties in the afternoon to leave their war scars behind. Especially on Sundays, hundreds of people line up in front of the dilapidated buildings to join in the house parties.
At a stand-up show held in Kiev last week, the genes were given the opportunity to have fun, leaving the pain of war behind. Photo: AP
Anna Levchuk, owner of the Kometa pizzeria, one of dozens of restaurants that remain open in Kiev, on the normalization steps, “Don’t let all this fool you; because we are still in a devastating war. Those who throng the streets talk about the course of the war whenever they gather. Everyone is affected by this war, albeit in different ways.” said.
Levchuk said that, like many restaurants, they closed their stores when the war started and quickly began cooking for the army and hospitals. “Although our restaurant is emptier than usual, people are starting to arrive slowly” He used the phrase and added:
“People go on dates again and start throwing big birthday parties again. People need to find a way to relieve the pain and stress of war; I can fully understand that.”
Officials and human rights advocates say such cases have also been seen in Russia’s previous wars and that the pattern of kidnappings and disappearances is a result of Russian war strategy. This is said to be aimed at creating a climate of fear and demoralizing civil resistance. Russian officials insist they are not targeting civilians. Finally, the Ukrainian government announced that it has recorded 765 disappearances so far.
‘WE COMPLETELY LEAVE THE RUSSIAN!’
In almost every restaurant or bar in Kiev, you can find posters supporting the country’s armed forces, as well as Ukrainian flags. On every street corner, you can find anti-war slogans and images blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for graffiti and paintings.
Levchuk also says that Russian has been completely abandoned in everyday language. Although many people speak non-Russian Ukrainian, shop owners say they only address customers in Ukrainian.
Valeriy Shevchenko, manager of a small photo gallery located opposite Levchuk’s pizzeria, says artistic life is slowly returning to normal as people take to the streets.
shevchenko, “Kyiv looked like a ghost town, but when the streets started to fill up again, the art gallery finally started to fill up again. We are tired and tired of being afraid. But of course no one has forgotten the war. used the phrase.
Due to rising temperatures with the arrival of summer, the people of Kyiv flocked to the Dnieper River. Photo: AP
PEOPLE FLOWED TO THE DINAPER RIVER
With the arrival of summer, due to the increasingly warmer weather, the inhabitants of Kyiv began to fill the beaches along the Dnieper River, as they do every year. However, authorities issued warnings, urging residents not to venture outside the city.
Stating that the danger continues along the Dnieper River, authorities are warning the public about the possibility of unexploded mines around the river and lake. In particular, there are frequent warnings about people not entering the water.
So much so that a man who went into the sea off Odessa earlier this week lost his life when stepping on mines laid by Ukrainian forces, raising the possibility of similar events taking place with the arrival of summer.
‘OUR BRIGHTEST AND BOLDEST YOUNG PEOPLE DIE IN THIS WAR’
A grand ceremony was held in Ukraine for the funeral of activist Roman Ratushny, who died fighting near Kharkiv in the war last week. Ratushny was a prominent figure in illegal construction and corruption bids and at the forefront of the 2013 protests.
Ratushny, who was frequently mentioned in the protests that resulted in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, was a very popular figure for Ukraine. At the beginning of the war, he enlisted in the army and became a great icon. Activist Ivana Sanina, one of the participants in the ceremony, said in her speech. “Our brightest and bravest young people are dying in this war” she couldn’t hold back the tears.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of activist Roman Ratushny, who died last week in Kharkiv on Saturday. Photo: AP
For many Ukrainians, the gradual prolongation of the war and the resulting devastation reveal that this will inflict high costs on the new generation. “Ratushny would be the voice of the new and independent Ukraine. He had a great future ahead of him,” he said.
It is believed that up to 200 Ukrainians lost their lives in this war every day. While photographer Valya Polishchuk said he was pleased to see Kiev recovering and people returning to normalcy, he added that people will never forget those who lost their lives for their country.
‘IT’S SO GOOD TO GET HERE AND FORGET A LITTLE WAR’
Last weekend, a group of men and women were riding together at the Kyiv velodrome. At the velodrome, the oldest sports complex in Kiev, dating back to 1913, Artur Kulak and his companions cycled for long hours just to play sports and have fun together.
“It’s good to come here and forget about the war for a bit. It’s very relaxing to do what you love most and not think about anything else.” He said and celebrated the people who went to the front and lost their lives in tears.