Illusion of normality in Kyiv shattered


Many in Kyiv are in shock at seeing the large crater left by a missile that hit one of the city’s busiest intersections on Monday morning.

Just yesterday, some of them went to cafes and restaurants a few hundred metres from the same spot. Others attended a performance of the opera Carmen at the National Opera House just a block away. Families went to the Shevchenko Park to enjoy a warm Sunday.

It seemed life in Kyiv was getting back to normal. That illusion has now been shattered.

Rockets struck central Kyiv during rush hour as people were heading to work. One hit not just Shevchenko Park, but its playground, where my children used to play and hang on the monkey bars.

The sense of anxiety is back in Kyiv. People no longer ignore air raid sirens, but instead go to basements, like they did back in February and March.

Many closely follow the news about missile launches and are alarmed by the reports that Belarus is gathering troops along its border with Ukraine. People are worried what will come next.

But unlike the early days of the invasion, many Ukrainians view today’s air strikes as a sign that Russia is