| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

Ukraine minister in ‘disbelief’ at closed Kyiv bomb shelters

On Sunday, a top Ukrainian government official voiced “disbelief” after discovering that over half of the bomb shelters assessed during an initial audit in Kyiv were closed or unsuitable for use.

On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordered an assessment of all Ukrainian shelters, a day after three people were murdered in Kyiv due to a lack of access to one during a Russian air attack.

Ukraine’s minister of strategic industries, Oleksandr Kamyshin, stated that 359 of the 1,078 shelters assessed on the first day were unprepared, 122 were locked, and 597 were judged to be useable.

“I greeted with disbelief that fact that half were open and considered ready,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Yesterday, when we selectively checked the shelters in the Obolon district with our mayor, the absolute majority of the shelters were closed.”

Kamyshin said the inspections, taking place with the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine now in its 17th month, would continue.

Russia has stepped up regular attacks on Kyiv since early May, especially at night, in what officials say is an attempt to damage morale ahead of a long-expected Ukrainian counteroffensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territory.

Thursday’s deaths caused a public outcry and a promise of a harsh response by Zelenskiy, which appeared aimed at Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, who has clashed with the president before.

Klitschko acknowledged at a local committee meeting on Friday that he bore some responsibility but said others were also to blame, particularly allies of the president who had been appointed to lead the city’s districts.

  • Reuters