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A Vow to Ease Bombing Is Too Late for Many in Ukraine City Near Kyiv

On Tuesday, in negotiations in Istanbul aimed at ending the war, the Russians said they would ease their bombardment of Chernihiv, but their positions around it are already so fortified, and the city itself so battered, that the offer hardly amounted to a concession at all.

March 30, 2022 / 06:51 PM IST
Representative image (Image credit Twitter/ @MFA_Ukraine)

Representative image (Image credit Twitter/ @MFA_Ukraine)

Thousands of people have been fleeing the northern outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, escaping towns and villages under attack by Russian troops across the region. Many of them are from the city of Chernihiv, with bleak faces and crushing stories.

They have been arriving in steady droves in recent days at Kyiv’s central station, clutching bags and children, their eyes hollow and full of strain.

“The city is under fire all the time,” said Iryna Shepetova, 35, hugging one of her children after spending the night sleeping on a bench in the station. “The mayor told us you are responsible for your own lives.”

She escaped with her three children and her mother on one of the last minibuses out of the city last week, as Russian forces closed in.