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Children watch puppeteer Oleksandra Shlykova as she performs at the metro stations of Kharkiv.

Puppets and poetry go underground in besieged city of Kharkiv

In a subterranean metro station serving as a bomb shelter in eastern Ukraine, two flamboyant puppeteers act out a tabletop fairytale for a gaggle of spellbound children. With a cast of caricature dolls including a mustachioed king and a herd of pigs, Oleksandra Shlykova and Anton Andriushchenko tell the story of how "Princesses are different", entrancing the kids and their parents. They are also distracting them from the near constant bombardments raining down on the city of Kharkiv above them, as Russia escalates its offensive in eastern Ukraine.