Sunday, January 29

A Kyiv family returned from a night in a shelter to find bullets in their home

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Viktoriya and her family worry about keeping their young son safe in their apartment. (The image of the child has been blurred to protect their identity.)

When Viktoriya and her family returned to their Kyiv home Tuesday morning after spending the night in a bomb shelter, they realized that the decision to leave yesterday may have saved their lives.

Overnight, bullets have pierced two windows in their apartment. One of them shattered an electrical socket nearby, leaving a hole where the plug would normally go.I realized there is no place where I can feel safe now,” Viktoriya, 38, told CNN. “My home is not my castle any more. All the time, something is thundering, exploding, shooting.”

But there is no relief when it all quietens down.

“It becomes even more anxious in the moments of silence, because you know they are not going to last,” she said.

Bullets have pierced two windows in the apartment.

Viktoriya and her family have been spending most of their time in the shelter. They have a small son and worry about being able to keep him safe in their apartment.

In the shelter, at least there are many other families with children, so they can keep each other company.

The adults are finding it comforting too, being around each other and sharing the burden of worry and the feeling of utter hopelessness.

One the projectiles that entered the family home.
Damage to an electrical plug in the apartment.

“Life changed completely in just a moment, and you can’t influence the situation in any way. Now it’s no longer you who controls your life, but someone else. And whatever you decide: whether to stay in Kyiv living in the basement or to go somewhere where it’s calmer, it means the same, you have to leave home,” Viktoriya said.

“The war has only lasted four days so far, but it seems like it has been with us for an infinitely long time. It’s a terrible ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling,” she added.

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