‘We are calm and ready:’ Woman runs bomb shelter in Kyiv

World

(NewsNation Now) — Just a few weeks ago, Sasha Golovkova was a web developer. Now, on day six of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Golovkova and her sister are running a bomb shelter in Kyiv, the country’s capital city.

“I think that everyone who lives in Ukraine is in danger right now, because you never know where the next attack could be,” Golovkova told NewsNation’s “Morning in America.” “So we are all prepared for everything but we have no panic, we are calm and ready.”

Golovkova said it wasn’t necessarily her decision to create the shelter.

“I never expected to be a bomb shelter organizer,” she said.

After hearing sirens one day, Golovkova went to a basement that was acting as a shelter. But then, she saw nothing was ready there. It was just walls, a floor and one exit.

So she decided to make the empty space a bomb shelter, to protect herself and others.

“I realized that if it’s not me, who else can do that?” Golovkova said.

Recently, Golovkova said, she and others in the shelter have put more effort into making the space more like a home, with the understanding that they may have to stay there for a couple of weeks.

Now, where there was nothing, there are pillows, covers, food and water. Bomb shelter organizers made an extra exit.

In the shelter, where 200-300 people stay almost every night, there is a defense system, where people prepare evacuation plans, help people get there and assign people to specific tasks.

“Young people feel that they have power inside of themselves to help other people,” Golovkova said. “They just do everything they can, and I’m just one among them.”

To ease the tension in the shelter, sometimes they will play music.

“People are much stronger than you think,” Golovkova said. “We know that it’s dangerous here. We know that rough times are coming, but none of us are trying to leave the country … it doesn’t matter if you play music or if we’re just sitting and watching the news 24/7 … we’re always prepared and just trying to go through this with dignity.”

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