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Nearly a quarter of Ukraine's air-raid shelters locked or unusable: Kyiv's interior ministry

People take cover at a metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv.
People take cover at a metro station during a Russian rocket attack in Kyiv. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP, EBU
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The Ukrainian interior ministry said that of the “over 4,800” shelters it had inspected, 252 were locked and a further 893 “unfit for use.”

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A quarter of Ukraine's air-raid shelters are locked or unusable, according to a recent inspection just days after a woman in Kyiv allegedly died waiting outside a shuttered shelter during a Russian missile barrage. 

The Ukrainian interior ministry said on Saturday that of the “over 4,800” shelters it had inspected, 252 were locked and a further 893 “unfit for use.”

On Saturday, the Kyiv regional prosecutor’s office reported that four people were detained in a criminal probe into the 33-year-old woman's death on Thursday outside a locked shelter. 

The prosecutor’s office said that one person, a security guard who had failed to unlock the doors, remained under arrest, while three others, including a local official, had been put under house arrest.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the suspects face up to eight years in prison for official negligence that led to a person’s death.

EBU
Ranva and her daughter take shelter in their hallway.EBU

The situation is also critical for people who do not live near a shelter, such as Ranva, who lives with her children and a small dog in an apartment that is far from Kyiv's centre.

During air raids, her family usually takes shelter in their apartment's hallways. "If the windows are hit, we will be protected from the glass. But if a ballistic rocket, it will be fatal." 

Thousands of volunteers inspect shelters

Also on Saturday, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that city authorities have received “more than a thousand" complaints regarding locked, dilapidated or insufficient air-raid shelters within a day of launching an online feedback service.

In a Telegram update, Klitschko reported that “almost half” of the complaints concerned facilities being locked, while about a quarter had to do with them being in poor condition. Some 250 Kyiv residents wrote in to complain of a lack of nearby shelters.

The interior ministry said that over 5,300 volunteers, including emergency workers, police officers and local officials, would continue to inspect shelters across Ukraine.

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