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Ukrainian journalist Andriy Kulykov on the latest on the ground in Kyiv


War continues in Ukraine, as do cease-fire negotiations. Three million people have fled the country. And tonight, in the capital city Kyiv, a curfew took effect that will be in place until Thursday morning.

Earlier today, I spoke with Andriy Kulykov, a Ukrainian radio journalist who is in Kyiv. And I started by asking him what he had been hearing and seeing today in Kyiv.

ANDRIY KULYKOV: Well, until five minutes ago, I was hearing explosions probably every three minutes. Then I put on the headphones to hear you better. So now I do not hear explosions, but I'm sure they are happening. Let me lift one of the headphones for a while.

Yes - in the distance. So far, it sounds like Ukrainian air defense shooting at missiles or probably planes coming up to Kyiv. And in the morning, we had at least two explosions in the city which caused human casualties. Three people died when the rockets hit a high-rise in one of the residential areas. Forty-five people were wounded, and more people were taken by our rescuers from the debris.

We also had a bombing in a private sector - what we call private sector means cottages or townhouses (inaudible). Another bomb hit also a residential area next to our underground station. So the day was rather tense...


KULYKOV: ...I must admit.

CHANG: And as we said, Kyiv is under curfew now. Can you just tell us, what are the specific rules in place for this curfew?

KULYKOV: The rules are you don't leave the place where you are, either your work or your flat or any other kind of (inaudible), without special permit, which are issued to people who work in vital industries or vital services. Then when the air alarm stops, you are allowed to go out but only to reach the nearest shelter. And then if the alarm is lifted, then you may go back to your flat or your job place.

Another point is that only people with special permits have probably said about this - yes, are told about this - you are not advised to have lights on within your residence or within your job place. And basically, you have to stay indoors until 7:00 a.m. Is it going to be Thursday?

CHANG: Right.

KULYKOV: I must tell you that we do not count by the days of the week. It's mostly dates that we remember because Sunday, Saturday or Monday, it's all the same. It's all the same. Of course, not so probably for religious people who insist on the Sunday services, but for the rest of us, it's just one day after another with the only question of when this is going to end.

CHANG: Let me ask you, Andriy, in the minute we have left - it has been about three weeks in this invasion. Ukraine is still holding its ground in the capital where you are. At this point, does it feel like Ukraine can continue to hold on against the Russians ramping up their attacks on the capital?

KULYKOV: You know, on the second day of invasion, I was asked by a colleague from one country - not on ours or your continent. This gentleman said, now that Kyiv has fallen, what are you going to do? Because he overestimated the reports about Russian incursion to the outskirts of the city. I had to explain to him that Kyiv is very far from fallen.

And although the situation has deteriorated very much today, we are very far - I don't even use the word still - we are very far from fallen. We are prepared to face the enemy. And it's now the task for the enemy to find out how they are prepared to face us.

CHANG: Andriy Kulykov, a Ukrainian radio journalist who is in Kyiv. Thank you so much, and please stay safe.

KULYKOV: I will do my best. I promise. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.
Elena Burnett
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.