Nearly two-thirds of the 3.5 million inhabitants of the Ukrainian capital, which was emptied at the start of the conflict, have returned.
The moment is charged with emotions. From the first weeks of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and while kyiv was particularly targeted by the bombardments and almost surrounded by the Russian army, the local population had left the city. For days, several tens of thousands of people had left the scene, heading for the west of the country and neighboring countries.
Two and a half months after the start of the conflict, after Vladimir Putin’s soldiers failed to take kyiv and have now turned to Donbass and eastern Ukraine, it is time to return to the Ukrainian capital to the refugees. In front of the BFMTV camera, Pavel finds his companion, seven months pregnant, who had left the city last March.
“That’s why she came back, it’s hard to be away from home being pregnant. This is our home, our homeland, we were born here and our children must be born here. We must not think only of good things and victory. The future is our child, Ukraine and victory,” he said, his eyes filled with tears.
The emotion is also very strong for Mikhail, who finds his mother who had taken refuge in Poland at the beginning of the invasion. “We haven’t seen each other for two months, so we’re happy to see each other again. My niece is also coming back, so everyone will be at home.” “I don’t know what to tell you, it’s happiness,” adds Valentina, her mother, as she gets off the train.
Back to normal life
The abandonment of fighting in the kyiv region is synonymous with a gradual return to normalcy in the city. To date, nearly two-thirds of the capital’s inhabitants have returned there, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Tuesday.
“Before the war there were 3.5 million inhabitants in kyiv, nearly two-thirds have already returned,” he told Ukrainian television. Even if there is still a curfew, roadblocks, “if these limitations do not scare you, you can actually come back,” added the city councilor, who so far called on residents to be patient.
However, the chosen one calls for the greatest caution. “If you have the opportunity to be in more protected places, where there is no risk to your life and health, please stay,” he asked.
Another sign of the return to life before: the various embassies of Western countries are gradually returning to their premises in kyiv. After France in mid-April, it was Germany’s turn to announce the reopening of its embassy on Tuesday.
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