Poignant footage of Ukrainian people singing together in shelters during Russian raids
28 February 2022, 14:29
Music brings comfort at a time of fear and conflict in Ukraine, as Russian forces advance on the capital city.
As Russian forces push further into Kyiv, many Ukrainian citizens have been hiding under the city’s streets – some in metro stations, some in basements, and others in purpose-built shelters.
While taking refuge underground, many have been turning to music for comfort.
In a video shared across social media, people can be seen singing along and waving their phone lights in the air while crowded into an underground shelter, as one woman plays guitar.
In an underground railway station in Kyiv, Ukrainian citizens gathered in choir formation to sing a prayer of hope.
Christians singing praise to Jesus Christ while sheltering inside a subway station in Kiev.— WORLD WAR 3 - RUSSIA vs Ukraine #2022 (@WW32022) February 25, 2022
The Christian spirit shines in darkness.#Russia #Ukraine #Kiev #Kyiv #subwaystation pic.twitter.com/MPOB849EqM
On 26 February, footage emerged of a shelter filled with Ukrainian women and children, all singing the Ukrainian national anthem ‘Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava’ in unison.
Ukraine's national anthem sung inside a bomb shelter. pic.twitter.com/3hDSWx7Zuk— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) February 26, 2022
Other Kyiv residents have been sheltering under schools and child daycare centres, including a man who was filmed playing the national anthem on a piano, as two young children watched on (watch below).
Speaking from another bomb shelter in the capital, the director of Amnesty International Ukraine told The Independent that “everyone here is scared”.
Director Oksana Pokalchuk added that many of the shelters are in poor conditions, and she fears they will not survive further attacks. “The shelters do not look safe. If airstrikes happen, it looks like they will fall down,” she said.
Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, deploying airstrikes and sending troops and tanks from multiple directions.
Several pictures have emerged of Kyiv residents crowding into metro stations to take shelter from further attacks, amid gunfire and explosions across the capital.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, confirmed reports of Russian missile strikes in a national address on Friday morning. He called for Nato defence support and tougher sanctions against Russia.
Over the last few days, musicians around the world have been playing and singing for peace, filling town squares with the sound of Ukraine’s national hymn and showing solidarity through music.