War has sucked the life out of Kyiv

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By Lyse Doucet

Chief International Correspondent

(BBC) A roar of explosions rolls across Kyiv tonight.

Air raid sirens blare warnings to residents to take to their shelters.

It is set to be another long, anxious night underground as the sounds of war grow ever louder and closer in a capital now in Russia’s sights.

Missiles slam into the edges of this beleaguered capital. The rattle of gunfire pierces the sky. Explosions are still distant from the centre; they’re now about 10 miles away.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former boxing champion now armed and in uniform, said Kyiv had entered a difficult night, a defensive phase.

He reported five blasts within three and five minutes near a power station in the north of the city.

Just before nightfall, we drove through eerily deserted streets. War has pulled life from what was once prized as a vibrant European capital. Soldiers check cars, take up positions outside key buildings, and along strategic junctions.

In one northern neighbourhood, we saw two new rhythms of life filling the same street.

A gaggle of residents nervously rushed past, suitcase wheels screeching as they made haste to reach somewhere safer.

Heading in the other direction, a crowd of men floods a yard where volunteers gathered to sign up for a territorial defence force.

“You really believe in the might of the Russian army?” a bespectacled young man asks me with a patriotic swagger.

“We had a lot of clashes today, in Obalan area,” he said, referring to an area just north of the city.

“Our planning is now in hours, not days,” he pointed out, as he hurried away to pick up his gun.

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