Want to Experience What It’s Like to be in Kyiv?

Here is a proposal for those who really want to share this experience with the people of Kyiv.
Picture of Dan Smith

Dan Smith

A passion for podcasting to tell the world about the great things Rotary is doing.

We hear stories and watch the news, but what is it really like to be in Kyiv? To live under the constant threat of being attacked again and bombed?

Here is a proposal for those who really want to share this experience with the people of Kyiv.

  • Download one of these apps.
  • Set the location for Kyiv
  • Every time the alert sounds, stop and just imagine what is going on. Do you go to the shelter? Do you just go on with your day?
  • Send a prayer or a thought to the people living there, they just got the same alarm.



If you are in a store or business, they will ask you to either leave or go to their bomb shelter.


My first night in Kyiv

My first night in Kyiv the alarm went off at 1:00 in the morning. It’s loud and scary. Got up shaking, got dressed, grabbed my to-go bag and headed downstairs. There was security at the door letting people out but not into the hotel.

Walked a half a block to the metro with another client from the hotel. We walked through the under ground mall to the entrance of the metro. All the doors were bared except for one and there was a beeping to direct you to the emterance.

Inside the metro there were about ten shoulders putting on their gear and taking up a defensive position at the top of the escalator. It is a very long ride down to the metro platform on a very fast moving escalator.

Once we got to the platform I was expecting the crowds you see on the news. People huddled on the steps, watching their mobile phones. There were three of us in the whole metro station.

Waited awhile and went back up into a very cold and windy night. The roads were partially blocked with shoulders monitoring traffic. A family was off to the right and a news truck parked with the doors open and lights on. Finally, returned to the hotel and they told me the alert was over.

After a year of constant alerts the people of Ukraine have become numb. They tell me at first everyone rushed to the shelters, but now, in Kyiv, there is less concern, at least for now.

In the more active areas they still rush to the shelters and the children are so traumatized that they cannot sleep. As this journey continues we will see how Ukraine and Rotary are helping the children and Ukrainians get through this war.

The saga of Dan continues

Follow the journey at https://voicesandstoriesua.com/ We are uploading a boatload of videos, songs and stories.


2 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Dan. It puts everything into perspective and my heart goes out to all those living in Ukraine.

    1. Thank you Michelle, so great to hear from you. Wait until we get to the story about the wild woman who drives emergency supplies to Bachmut, the volunteers who cut up clothes to make camouflage, the student concert in the parking lot or the real life story of the invasion, an exact match to the historic accounts. And the people, I know you would love the people. Wish y’all could be here.

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