“We are going to spend the night in the metro.”

In Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, the day began with the sound of a bomb.“It looked far and very close to us.”Tells franceinfo Pierre Mareczko, a 35-year-old Frenchman who emigrated to Ukraine in 2019. He evacuated from the north to the subway station on Thursday afternoon, February 24, with his wife, Victoria, who was eight months pregnant. City.

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“I received a phone call from Orsay Street describing the possibility of evacuating a Frenchman in the country, but it seemed complicated to me as my wife was about to give birth.”, Explained to a former journalist by phone and turned to finance. Before getting down to the basement, he considered several options, such as going west on the road. “The risk is too highHe finally decided, I didn’t know where to go … and what if it came across a fight?

On the night of February 24, 2022, hundreds of Kiev residents were set up at a subway station in the northern part of the city.  (PIERRE MAREZCKO)

Behind him, a high-pitched sound disturbs him. This is the M2 line metro, which runs until 10 pm. “It’s pretty surrealSlip Pierre Maretsco. After that, as martial law stipulates, all lights will be turned off because they will be placed in the curfew until 7 am. I’m about to spend the night on the subway. “ The station where he is located is one of several bomb shelters opened around 4 pm Thursday, as a message from the Ukrainian Defense Minister. Oleksiy Reznikov was broadcast on a local channel.

“I heard that aviation movements have been detected in our area and we should evacuate as soon as possible.”, Related to Pierre Maretsco. Since then, about 300 people have been waiting at the station, which has transformed into a base camp, and their eyes are nailed to TV screens and cell phones. “Many families, children, the elderly, and people without shelters.”Explains his thirties, who say he was impressed with the calmness of his neighbor.

Residents of Kiev (Ukraine) are preparing to sleep at a subway station on February 24, 2022 to protect themselves from Russian bombardment.  (PIERRE MAREZCKO)

“Some people may expect a panic scene, but the opposite is true. He repeats. When my wife felt sick, everyone got together to help her. We quickly found a doctor, and Babushka just brought a deckchair for her to rest. ” The babushkas (“Grandmother” in Russian), it’s a subway employee in the capital, a receptionist, a counter clerk … staying true to their position tonight. Some refugees preparing to sleep in camping chairs and yoga mats have encouraging symbols on the cold black tiles of the station.

The night will be tough for Pierre Marektsuko and his family. “We all see the bombing images scrolling on Telegram. He says, For buildings that often look like neighborhood buildings. ” His wife from Luhansk, Donbas, escaped the war with pro-Russian separatists in 2014. She realizes she’s involved in a conflict, and every time she spends at her subway station, she has a little more asylum problem.

“To this day, there was no doubt that we would leave. Our life is here, so our daughter will be born soon, Pierre Marektsuko says, But I have to take my wife safely. If France is ready to evacuate us and things get worse, of course we will leave. “