‘Not very safe’: Pregnant Ukrainian takes refuge in makeshift shelter

Russia At War

(NewsNation Now) — As Russian troops continue their advance toward the capital, many Ukrainians are taking refuge in basements and bomb shelters.

Liudmyla Lukianets is living in Rivne, a city in northwestern Ukraine of nearly 250,000 people. She is hiding in a makeshift bomb shelter that is in the basement of her apartment complex.

On top of the immense day-to-day stress of wartime, Lukianets is dealing with the uncertainty of a difficult pregnancy.

“I’m on the third month of pregnancy right now,” Lukianets said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “And I had some problems with my pregnancy from the beginning. And it’s very difficult to me to be in this condition in this time.”

Lukianets says it is difficult for her to walk down the stairs from her home on the 4th floor while pregnant.

“There’s this place is not very safe, because it’s just a basement,” she said. “And if our house were falling apart, we all will be in a trap. But there is no shelter for me that I can get very quick in my condition. So I have no choice.”

Ukrainian citizens take shelter in a basement bomb shelter in Rivne.

Lukianets says air-raid sirens go off up to seven times a day, and each time they have to go to the shelter in the basement of their house.

“A few minutes ago was an alert,” she said. “So we’re now in the shelter. But there’s not so much people as earlier because many people left our city.”

She says it is very cold in the shelter as well.

Lukianets shared a few photos of the shelter they hide in with NewsNatioin. It is dimly lit, narrow and looks to be a very basic concrete structure. With some basic benches and padding on the ground for a semblance of comfort, blankets and winter clothes are used to stay warm.

They have a curfew and are not allowed to turn the lights on at night.

“We have to be in our apartments with lights off,” Lukianets said.

Lukianets feels the situation in Rivne is currently more stable compared to what her friends are experiencing in other cities — but she still feels it is unstable and anything could happen.

Her husband is working abroad right now and Lukianets says she does not want to leave her country.

She says, they all live in fear, but wants “to stay here and give birth to defender of Ukrainian land.”

Watch the full interview with Liudmyla Lukianets in the video player at the top of the page.

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