War in Ukraine: Kyiv bombed, Irpine survives thanks to underground supplies


Nicolas Tonev, edited by Solène Leroux
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8:40 a.m., March 15, 2022

Several explosions heard this morning in kyiv. The Ukrainian capital is no longer spared by Russian bombs. Nicolas Tonev, the special envoy of Europe 1 in kyiv, recounts the particularly violent awakening for the inhabitants. The war rang at 5:03 this morning precisely. According to the authorities, three districts of kyiv were hit in Russian strikes. There is certainty about a residential area in the west that is located near an extremely disputed area between the Ukrainian army and the Russian forces. The other quarters are not specified for the moment, because the authorities try not to give too much information, so that the Russians cannot readjust the shots.


But it is indeed residential areas that are affected, which confirms yesterday’s impressions of this pressure around the city. On the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital now, you can almost constantly hear the sounds of bombardments. We see the curtains of smoke on the east and the west and the smells which, under the wind, are permanent.

An underground distribution point

This pressure around the city, mentioned by the special envoy of Europe 1, is also visible in the neighboring town of Irpine. A city to the west of kyiv, almost deserted, where a few inhabitants still remain. Those who couldn’t or didn’t want to leave and who today totally depend on food aid delivered to the shelter of the bombs in the basements. In Irpine there is a square with lampposts, some trees. It would be almost flirtatious. A woman, pedestrian, ghostly on the right sidewalk. On the left, armed men disappear between the buildings. The distribution point is there, straight ahead, squeezed under a building.

The basement lets out the last served. “Thank you very much, thank you very much”, insists a resident. No lighting in the underground, the guide plunges into darkness, flashlight in hand. “We give food. There are a lot of people today. We give milk for the children. We have biscuits, canned meat. That’s what’s left of today. We also have apples”, explains one of the caregivers. But “just enough for a day, no more”, assures another. “There is no more fuel for the generators, we had two or three hours of operation, so people came to recharge their batteries. They took food and left.”

The intransigence of the volunteers

The reservations are ridiculous. When humanitarian aid does not arrive, there is nothing more to give the next day or the day after. Hence the intransigence of officials towards latecomers at the entrance to the underground. “There isn’t much left, in fact?” asks a resident. “You will come back tomorrow,” replies one of the volunteers. “You’re not going to die Grandmother, that’s enough,” he laughs. She does not protest. Those who stay here are no longer protesting, they are holding on.


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