Life Underground: How War Is Redefining Childhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, the impact of Russia’s war is reshaping the lives of its youngest residents.

With missiles striking close by and little time to seek shelter, schools and kindergartens have been closed for nearly two years.

But now, as the conflict enters its third year, life is moving underground. Metro stations have become makeshift classrooms, providing a semblance of normalcy for children like six-year-old Nika.

For families like the Bondarenkos, who fled the city at the war’s onset, the return home brings a mix of fear and determination.

Despite the dangers, the resilience of Kharkiv’s residents shines through, as they adapt to life in the shadow of conflict. Credit:

Adapted from BBC News.

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