Bleak Photos of People Sheltering in Ukraine’s Subway Stations As Russia Invades

The network was completed during the height of the Cold War, and was deliberately built to double up as a bomb shelter.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.
Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty

Hundreds of people were forced to shelter overnight in the subway stations of the Kyiv Metro as Russian troops advanced on Ukraine’s capital. Families huddled on platforms and stairs, while some sheltered in train carriages. Civilians also sheltered in Kharkiv Metro in the east of the country.

At an average of 105 metres below street level, Kiev’s metro system is the deepest in the world. The network, which was completed during the height of the Cold War, was deliberately built deep into the ground to double up as a bomb shelter.

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As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, Western intelligence services fear Kyiv could fall under Russian control by the weekend.

People take shelter in metro stations amid Russia's military intervention in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022.

People take shelter in metro stations amid Russia's military intervention in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022. Photo: Konstantin Melnitskiy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Photo: VIACHESLAV RATYNSKYI/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Photo: VIACHESLAV RATYNSKYI/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

People take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

A couple embrace on a platform at a Metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

A couple embrace on a platform at a Metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: Ethan Swope/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty

Caman Denysenko tries to calm his spooked cat as he joins hundreds of people seeking shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Caman Denysenko tries to calm his spooked cat as he joins hundreds of people seeking shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty

People use their phone as they take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv in the morning of February 24, 2022.

People use their phone as they take shelter in a metro station in Kyiv in the morning of February 24, 2022. Photo: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

People shelter in a subway station before a curfew comes into effect on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People shelter in a subway station before a curfew comes into effect on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Hundreds of people seek shelter underground, on the platform, inside the dark train cars, and even in the emergency exits, in metro subway station as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty Photo: