This is a wonderful photograph by Richard Spencer for The Times and it is published here via Getty images and Narcisco Contreas/Anadolu Agencies. I hope that they allow me to publish the photograph on my website. I would claim fair use but I am in their hands. These three indomitable women and their two cats are part of 800 people displaced by Russian bombing in Kharkiv, in the north of the country, not far from the Russian border. They’ve spent two months in Kharkiv’s Metro. They thought that it would be a couple of days at most when they first went down. They now know that it is the 62nd day of the war and there is little to do other than wait and count the days go by.
Of course, I love the picture of the cats with these ladies. It must be incredibly difficult for both the women and their cats. It does take an indomitable spirit to go through this with a smile and all three are smiling. The cats look well cared for. I really don’t know how they manage because, for instance, how do all 800 go to the toilet and keep themselves clean? I am convinced that they have a very tightly controlled rotor of toilet cleaning which is shared between the 800 residents of the underground. They live by the tracks of Saltivka district Metro station on Heroiv Pratsi Street. I am sure that they have devised a management structure to keep order under trying conditions.
Ironically most people in the area speak Russian and Kharkiv is built in the Soviet style as it was rebuilt along Stalinist lines after the destruction of the Second World War. It is doubly ironic because Ukraine’s second largest city is now being destroyed by the Russians during their invasion of the country. I wonder if Vladimir Putin has noticed the irony in his brutal, misguided and unnecessary war. The people that he is making homeless were loyal to the values that the Russians espoused and they are shocked. These Ukrainians call their Russian neighbours their brothers and “Now they are bombing the graves of people who died in the Second World War”, said Olena Sydorov, one of many ladies trapped in this underground station. She is an accountant.
The map shows you the location of Kharkiv.
Below are some more pictures and stories from Ukraine.
Journalist and security consultant discover small black puppy in Bucha trashed by drunken Russian troops