Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

As Russia carried out a large attack on Ukraine, Kyiv residents who were woken up by air raid sirens and sounds of explosion remained defiant. 

Thirty-four-year-old Anastasiia Hryn woke up to the sound of air raid sirens in the Ukrainian capital. She went down to the basement shelter in her building along with her son when she heard the first explosion. 

“I expected this kind of attack before the New Year. There were reports in the news that something like that was being prepared… That’s why I wasn’t particularly surprised by the shelling…. If there is an alarm, you monitor whether there are missiles launches. If yes, you go down to the basement of the house to the bomb shelter,” she told CNN. 

After the sirens gave the all clear, life went back to normal, Hyrn said. Parents took their children to school and kindergarten, people went to their offices. “In the elevator I met my neighbors with their child who were in hurry to get to the cinema for the new Avatar movie on time,” she said. 

Anna Kovalchuk is determined not to have Russians ruin upcoming New Year’s celebrations. “I’m more worried that most likely the will be no electricity on New Year’s Eve and the holiday will have to be spent in the dark. But I began to prepare myself for such a scenario in advance, stocked up on garlands, power banks, so the blackout would upset us, but not stop us,” she said. 

“I formulated my attitude to what is happening in the first days of a full-scale war, and since then it has not changed — Ukraine will win, and Russia will lose,” she said. 

Roman Grischuk, a member of parliament, woke up to messages from his wife asking if he was okay. “I read that there were several hits in Kyiv. I quickly got water in case the water ran out and went to a safe place,” he told CNN. After ten months of war, it is hard to describe the feeling, he added. “The first thought is no one should die. But even that unfortunately the Russian attacks have turned into a routine,” he said. 

Halyna Hladka’s stocked up on water as soon as the sirens sounded and quickly made breakfast for her family so they would have something to eat. After nearly two hours, they heard the sounds of explosions.

“It seemed to me that they were really close to our area but it turned out to be air defense,” she told CNN. “Not a single attack will cancel the fact that we will celebrate the new year with the family. In every person there is something stronger than dependence on electricity and water. Moreover, we have already become perfectly oriented on how to survive in such conditions. Anyway, we will celebrate the New Year and hope for the best,” she said.

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