Tuesday , November 29 2022

Vietnamese in Kyiv: ‘We’re used to danger and missile strikes’

Despite the fact that Russia’s missile strikes shook Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, Xuan remarked that he and the locals were no longer terrified with the threat “hanging over our heads.”

“I heard a siren at 7 a.m. and the first explosions occurred at 8 a.m. The second explosion was louder, and it also shook my house,” Xuan recalled. He could see black smoke billowing in numerous locations of the city center from his house.

He stated that since the beginning of the war, he and his wife have kept a briefcase with important documents inside and luggage of clothes by the front door so that when the siren goes off, they can easily grab them and flee to the bunkers.

“However, I remain calm because I’m used to it now. The recent missile strike is comparable to the previous months’ blasts.”

On Oct. 10, multiple Russian missiles rained down Kyiv, which was the most intense strike on the city in months. The capital was last attacked on June 26.

According to Reuters, this is Russia’s largest air strike since the start of the Ukraine war.

“Thousands of residents raced to bomb shelters as air raid sirens rang out through the day. The barrage of dozens of cruise missiles fired from air, land and sea was the biggest wave of air strikes to hit away from the front line, at least since the initial volleys on the war’s first day, Feb. 24,” it wrote.

According to AFP, the explosions in Kyiv occurred about 8:15 a.m., or 12:15 p.m. in Hanoi. At least 19 people were killed and 105 injured in the raid on the capital and roughly ten other locations across Ukraine.

Xuan stated that, unlike the June bombing, this attack is more serious because the missiles targeted residential areas.

He claimed that Russia had previously targeted defense or military bases. The recent attack, on the other hand, targeted power plants and residential areas like commercial and office buildings. Huge missile craters could be seen near Kyiv’s downtown Taras Shevchenko National University.

The city’s sanitation workers, he claims, finished cleaning up broken glass or damage by Monday evening. Only a few locations were preserved for police to conduct investigations.

Police experts examine destroyed cars in the center of Ukraines capital of Kyiv after several Russian missile strikes, October 10, 2022, amid Russias invasion of Ukraine. Photo by AFP/Sergei Chuzavkov

Police experts examine destroyed cars in the center of Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv after several Russian missile strikes, October 10, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Photo by AFP/Sergei Chuzavkov

“After the siren went off, life returned to normal and people carried on with their lives.”

He stated that the government has asked citizens to minimize electricity consumption in order to avoid overloading the state electricity network after certain power plants and heating plants were damaged.

“In addition, the street lights were switched off. Some suburbs have hourly power outages.”

Similar to Xuan, Bang said missile strikes across Ukraine began at 6 a.m., and the explosion in Kyiv occurred after 8 a.m.

“Loud explosions shook the entire city,” he remarked, noting that the government advises citizens not to go outside and seek cover when hearing the siren.

“There were lots of people lined up in front of petrol stations because they were concerned the war would be fiercer and they have to travel abroad to seek refuge.”

Meanwhile, the missile raids occurred when Minh was driving to work. Even though he was not in the city center, he could sense the city trembling and the people’s sense of urgency and exigency in the air.

“Approximately 6:30 a.m. I heard the sirens and my phone receive a notification that a missile attack is underway, and people should take cover,” he said.

On online group chats, people questioned each other about what occurred and learned that Russian missiles had hit the city center when many were on their way to work.

“A sense of urgency pervaded the air.”

People view the scene of Russian missile strikes, as Russias attack continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

People view the scene of Russian missile strikes, as Russia’s attack continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

After authorities evacuated people from the attacked areas after the explosions, the streets were deserted and businesses closed.

Following the recent strikes, Vietnamese living in Kyiv stated that while they were concerned, they have gotten used to living with bombs and air strikes. Although the threat is imminent, all that can be done now is for people to live with and adjust to it.

Xuan confesses that he has some worries, but he cannot live in fear forever.

“Life must carry on, and people must continue to go to work. People here have long accepted living with bombs and air strikes since there is no other option,” he explained.

Minh claims that natives and Vietnamese have adjusted their lifestyles accordingly.

“Everyone knows the fighting might go on forever and that similar strikes will keep happening.”

Bang, echoing Xuan’s sentiments, stated that he will “go with the flow” if things go south and there is no point to keep worrying and overthinking.

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