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'Kyiv is coming back to life': Residents of Ukrainian capital attempt to return to normal

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By Mark Armstrong  with EVN
Two Ukrainians sip coffee at a bar in downtown Kyiv.
Two Ukrainians sip coffee at a bar in downtown Kyiv.   -   Copyright  NOS via EBU   -  

Despite the continuing Russian attacks on Ukrainian territory, life in the capital Kyiv has been returning to a semblance of normalcy in recent weeks.

Public transport is running, theatres and cinemas are opening, and the two banks of the Dnipro river have been reconnected, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Friday.

Although the mayor is warning that the city is not safe, more and more people are taking to the streets. Cafes, restaurants and other businesses are opening their doors to customers.

Marina has just returned to Ukraine.

“I think that Kyiv is coming back to life," Marina explained. "On the day we came back the city was more empty. But now it looks like more people are coming back. Of course, we have our luggage packed because we never know what will happen."

Marina's friend Anna never left the city, but she had to stop working and has just started again.

“One week ago we opened our first business, a bakery. We saw that people are coming back to the city. We have customers, we have guests. We can work, I’m delighted really.”

Most of the people returning are women and children, coming back not just to the place but also to the partners, husbands, and grandparents who couldn't or wouldn't leave the country.

So many people want to come back that the bus connection with the Polish capital Warsaw has been re-established.

But you don't have to go too far from the city to find Ukrainian military teams defusing mines and other explosive devices left by Russian forces. It is a grim reminder that the war is far from over.