Before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Mykolaiv, which is situated near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, was a bustling city of almost half a million people. Today, it serves as an important outpost on the country’s southern frontline.
Over the last eight months of war in Ukraine, days without shelling or destruction have been few and far between for Mykolaiv’s residents. Locals say there is no sense of security anywhere in the city.
More than 12,000 buildings in the whole Mykolaiv region have been damaged or destroyed. It has been regularly targeted by cluster bombs, as well as by low-precision rockets, which cause large-scale destruction when they land on residential buildings.
Like in most towns and cities across Ukraine, there’s a strong volunteer movement in Mykolaiv, which works to support Ukraine’s army, help families in dire situations, and assist in evacuations from dangerous zones, among other tasks.
“I understood the important thing…that the biggest capital, the biggest asset in the war is people can unite, people can help, people can fight”, said Natalia, a university professor.
“Of course, when we hear those explosions shelling…people feel very bad about it, because it might be your neighbours, it might be your own flat, it might be the place where you work, might be the school of your children.”
Watch Natalia Liubchenkova’s report in the video above to find out more.