Over the past two weekends, the center of Kiev has once again become crowded. At first glance, it would seem that city dwellers never left, and restaurants, bars and stores, now full of people, never closed.
Yuri Mazur has left Kyiv for just one week since the attack began in late February. But until two weeks ago he could not walk in the park with his daughter.
“We are trying to get out as often as possible; It’s nice to see kids smile again, “he said. “But a month ago, it was a completely different story, a very different city. Knowing that the war is still going on, it seems almost unrealistic to see it now. “
In conversations about weather, music, and everyday life, war is still heard.
Despite the sirens and soldiers of almost daily air strikes on the streets, Kiev’s spring, at least on the surface, looks the same as in previous years. It comforts both returning residents and people in eastern Ukraine seeking asylum in the capital.
The presence of war, though not clear, is still there. A family poses for a photo with the Ukrainian flag on a glass bridge known as the People’s Friendship Arch and near a recently destroyed statue of friendship between Ukraine and Russia near the Dnipro River.
Oleg Davidenko has not seen his mother and younger brother for weeks. He lives in Kiev; They live in a village in the Sumi region. He said:
“We go for walks, we go to our favorite restaurants, we come back to work, and we meet our friends and family, but inside, in our hearts, there is nothing like before. Fear accompanies me every day since February 24th. I live in the city to work and help my family, but my older brother is fighting and protecting the border from the Russians. I fear and pray for him every day. We will send her these pictures to show that she is always thinking of us. “