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03 May. 2023

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Spring 2023 in the capital of Ukraine: how many people live in Kyiv and is the war felt?

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Spring 2023 in the capital of Ukraine: how many people live in Kyiv and is the war felt?

Ukrainians continue to live and enjoy every minute of it despite the terrible war. In particular, Kyiv continues to come to life every day. Here is how the capital of Ukraine lives today

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The great war changed the lives of every Ukrainian. In the first days of the full-scale invasion, bustling Kyiv seemed empty and cold, but a year later, the heart of Ukraine, its capital Kyiv, is once again full of energy. 

How does Kyiv live today? What has changed and what remains the same? Find out in this article.


How many people have returned to Kyiv?


Every day Kyiv comes to life more and more. Many people have returned to the city. As of early May, 3.6 million people live in the capital. The population is almost equal to pre-war levels. In 2021, the population of the capital was 3.9 million people. 

Over the past year, many Ukrainians from the eastern and southern regions have moved to the capital. Most of the IDPs live with relatives or close friends (approximately 45%). Twenty-eight percent of IDPs plan to stay in the capital permanently. 

Along with the increase in population, Kyiv's traffic jams have returned. Especially during rush hour. It has also become quite difficult to find a parking space in the center of the capital again. 


Where do Kyiv residents hide during air raids?


The war reminds us of itself almost every day when an air raid warning sounds in the capital. It sounds quite unpleasant, but it is less and less likely to cause fear among Kyiv residents. Residents of the capital, like the majority of Ukrainians, are increasingly feeling angry, irritated, and disdainful of the enemy. The only thing that keeps Kyiv residents going is their faith in air defense. 

The city has more than 3,600 shelters that can simultaneously shelter about 3 million people. 

Subway stations are also still functioning as shelters, even at night, but passengers are allowed in only if they have a passport.


City life. What is working in Kyiv now?


The economic activity of the capital is gradually increasing. There are shopping centers, supermarkets, shops, markets, car dealerships, children's entertainment centers, cultural institutions, etc. 

The capital is once again bathed in lights, with buildings and streets illuminated. Nothing reminds us of winter blackouts anymore.

There are many people in cafes and restaurants, especially in the popular ones. Today, almost all establishments are back in business, attracting full houses of visitors. The war taught Kyiv residents to live in the here and now. That's why, despite the war, people still have lunch or dinner in restaurants on occasion. In this way, everyone is also trying to support local businesses, which are already struggling due to martial law.

Despite a year of full-scale war in Ukraine, the capital's restaurant market continues to live, develop, work and create new jobs. In the first month of spring, twenty new establishments of various formats and price segments were opened in the capital: Italian cuisine with a creative show presentation on Dniprovsky Uzviz, fish restaurants on both banks of the capital, a restaurant serving Crimean Tatar cuisine in Podil, shawarma in the tram control room on Lvivska Square, author's shawarma at the railway station, a chef's bistro in Osokorky and a cocktail bar near the Olympic Stadium, etc. 

With the first warm days in the capital, the desire to go out into the sunshine and breathe in the spring air is growing. The city's largest parks are open to visitors, including VDNH, Holosiivskyi Park, the National Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life of Ukraine in Pirogovo, and more. The Kyiv Zoo also welcomes guests.

Most of the capital's museums and exhibition centers have also returned to work. Free exhibitions and art events are also among the events announced in Kyiv.  


Kyiv's public transportation has resumed operations 


The subway is operating at almost full capacity. At peak times, there are again a lot of passengers at the hub stations. Trains run every 2-4 minutes. According to statistics, the subway carries about 3-3.5 million passengers every week. However, air raid alarms have a significant impact on the subway, as the subway stops running when the siren sounds because two subway lines run over open-air bridges. 

The stations also periodically hold master classes on first aid or teach the algorithm of actions in case of mine danger. 

Buses, trolleybuses and trams also operate as usual. However, if an air raid warning sounds during a trip, passengers must leave the vehicle and go to the nearest shelter.

Restrictions on transportation are also related to the curfew. Starting March 26, it lasts from zero o'clock to five in the morning every day in Kyiv. Ground transportation is open from 05:30 to 23:30, the subway from 06:00 to 23:00, and the funicular from 07:00 to 22:00.

Studying in educational institutions during the war


Education in the capital's educational institutions continues, and the city's universities are open. In addition to IDP families, entire educational institutions are moving to Kyiv. For example, since April last year, the Mariupol State University has been operating within the walls of the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture.

More than 90% of students have returned to school, some of them attend classes in person, while others attend remotely. Of the 421 municipal schools in Kyiv, 70% have shelters. 

Kyiv's kindergartens have also resumed work. 

In case of an air raid, children take an alarm suitcase and go down to the shelter. The basements have everything children need: water, food, warm clothes, chairs, desks and even cots. Each child has a note with their parents' contacts and blood type.


Losses and farewells


Mourning moods also prevail in Kyiv, as several times a week in the center of the capital people say goodbye to fallen soldiers. The walls of Kyiv's central shrine, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, have seen a lot of grief and tears over the past year. Traditionally, farewells to soldiers who have died heroically at the front are held here. 

The wall of remembrance placed near the monastery already has thousands of photos of fallen soldiers - a high price that Ukraine pays every day for freedom and free life. 


Get rid of everything racist


Kyiv is actively getting rid of everything associated with russia. Streets are being renamed, theaters are being renamed, and the remains of Soviet monuments and symbols are being dismantled. 


Over the past year, Kyiv has become a city of bold hopes and new perspectives. The atmosphere in the capital of Ukraine today is filled with strength and faith. The people of Kyiv, like Ukrainians across the country, are looking forward to peace and believe in Victory.


We remind you! Many Ukrainians and foreigners have their own established ideas about Ukrainian national symbols. Over time, many of them have become real myths. In this article, we debunk the most common myths about the trident, embroidery, and flag.



Photo: Dmitri Kotjuh




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