Poignant footage of Ukrainian people singing together in shelters during Russian raids

28 February 2022, 14:29

Footage of Ukrainians singing together in shelters amid Russian raids
Footage of Ukrainians singing together in shelters amid Russian raids. Picture: Twitter/HaniSep/@WW32022

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

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.

Read more: Ukrainian operatic baritone sings his national hymn at 10 Downing Street in ‘call for peace’

In an underground railway station in Kyiv, Ukrainian citizens gathered in choir formation to sing a prayer of hope.

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.

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.

Read more: ‘Our culture is at stake’: Ukrainians use powerful music to voice their protests

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.