April 1, 2023

The Catholic Transcript

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Families have been living in a subway station in Ukraine for a month to hide from Russian bombing |  Ukraine and Russia

Families have been living in a subway station in Ukraine for a month to hide from Russian bombing | Ukraine and Russia

Natalia Shaposhnik and her daughter Veronika live in a Ukrainian city that has been bombed since the beginning of the Russian invasion, in a blue and yellow train stopped at a subway station.

For four long weeks, Shaposhnik and hundreds of people like her are hiding inside the station in the north of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.

With buildings destroyed or heavily damaged in nearly every building, the streets of Kharkiv were eerily quiet and empty on Thursday.

Families flock to the outpost, mostly from the northern part of the city, which has suffered almost daily shelling.

Natalia Shaposhnik plays with her daughter Veronica in a subway carriage in North Kharkiv (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Women and children slept side by side on concrete floors, or built homes in curtained carriages in smaller family rooms.

They just go out for a walk with their dogs or to get some fresh air, and a short break from the damp underground.

“It’s no better than a house, but it’s livable,” said Shaposhnik, 36, who worked in a pet store before the war.

Even underground, war is always there.

On Thursday, a Russian missile hit a subway station two stops from where Shaposhnik lives with his daughter, killing and injuring a number of people.

Outside, when the team removed the shrapnel from the site, a car packed with wounded Ukrainian soldiers passed by.

A month after the invasion began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the war as an existential battle not only for his country, but for the whole of Europe.

The Russia He refers to the invasion as a “special military operation” and says his forces do not target civilians.

Katharina Buffett holds her son Nikita at a metro station north of Kharkiv where they are hiding from Russian attacks – Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Shaposhnik said he still knows Russians who do not believe civilians have been bombed, despite the massacre in the past four weeks.

“I wrote to them (that) I will take shelter with my son.” On the subway a month ago, But they don’t believe me. They said, “It’s your fault, you’re to blame, you, you, you,” she said.

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