Home World These pictures show how life goes on in Kyiv.

These pictures show how life goes on in Kyiv.


Even as Ukraine braced for a full-scale Russian attack and declared a 30-day state of emergency on Wednesday, people in the capital, Kyiv, continued to go about daily life, pushing on with the threat of war a constant backdrop.

Cars jammed the streets and pedestrians crowded the sidewalks, streaming past high-rises, shops and apartment buildings during the evening commute in the city of about three million people.

The mood in Kyiv has been somber but defiant in recent days, as residents have absorbed increasingly dire warnings that Russia plans to carry out an assault that could send its forces into the capital, igniting Europe’s largest battle since World War II.

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, a former professional boxer, declared a state of emergency in the capital on Wednesday, echoing the national state of emergency.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Klitschko said there would be stepped-up checks on people entering and leaving Kyiv Province, restrictions on vehicle traffic and a ban on mass events and rallies.

“I appeal to the people of Kyiv: Do not panic!” Mr. Klitschko said. “The state of emergency that the authorities plan to introduce is a pre-emptive step in these circumstances to ensure law and order and public safety in cities, towns and villages, to counter crime and to prevent possible provocations aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country.”

Anticipating an assault, many civilians have joined territorial defense units. Some in Kyiv have dropped off pets at animal shelters as they prepared to leave the city for western Ukraine or to go abroad.

But many others appeared to be staying put in the city they call home. Outside the Ukrainian Parliament building on Wednesday, two women prayed at a cross.

Near Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, the center of Ukraine’s 2014 revolution, in which protesters overthrew a president who was friendly to Russia’s interests, a man waited outside a bus stop, briefcase in hand.

Marc Santora contributed reporting from Lviv, Ukraine.

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