The 77-year-old is one in every of some 200 Kyivans who’ve discovered shelter in a metro station within the northwest of the town as Moscow’s forces slowly attempt to encircle the town.
A few of them are aged folks, preferring the factitious leather-based seats of the subway automobile to sleeping on mattresses or in tents on the granite ground of the Syrets station.
Wearing a lilac coat and a knitted hat, Katkova seems within the sliding doorways of a blue subway automobile with a yellow stripe — Ukraine‘s nationwide colors.
She is difficult of listening to, speaks unintelligibly and can’t cease crying when requested about what number of days and nights she spent within the chilly and damp subway dungeon.
“Since February 24,” the lady says, the date when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
Her daughter, son-in-law, son and granddaughter have spent their nights on the 100-metre platform of the station for the previous three weeks.
“And I, like an previous one, am right here. That is as a result of I’ve had a stroke, a coronary heart assault — so right here I’m, sleeping within the carriage,” Katkova mentioned.
She barely matches on the exhausting seats contained in the automobile, a plastic water bottle and a cup resting on the window ledge above her.
‘Life is extra essential’
The Kyiv metro, with a number of the deepest stations on this planet, has been a haven for 1000’s of Kyivans for the reason that first days of the struggle.
Prepare site visitors continues on solely one of many tracks at every of the stations, whereas the opposite now hosts a practice for individuals who need to reside there.
Seventy-year-old Nina Piddubna, Katkova’s neighbour within the subsequent automobile, complains of getting felt unwell within the first days of her keep right here.
“I felt very unhealthy right here, I had a fever,” says the lady, sitting within the automobile and wrapped in a blue woollen blanket.
She provides that she even misplaced consciousness in the future, although the “caring” metro employees shortly gave her first support.
However Piddubna is able to endure such hardships for the sake of security, which is offered by the station situated 60 metres (197 toes) deep underground.
“We do not have a shelter in any respect” in her house situated only a few kilometres (miles) from the fierce combating within the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv, she laments.
“It’s deep right here. Although it’s damp and you’ll catch a chilly, you continue to come right here, as a result of life is extra essential.”