Putin’s unintended message

While it's clear that the Russian leader wanted to threaten Ukrainians with Monday's bombings and send a message of power, the attacks show just one thing: How weak Putin is. Among Ukrainians, there's almost a palpable feeling that Russia is losing the war.



October 12, 2022 - 4:58 PM

A Ukrainian national flag is displayed in front of a destroyed house near Izyum, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine — If you want to imagine how it felt being in Kyiv on Monday, it isn’t hard.

You wake up at 6.49 a.m. to the sound of air sirens. Or maybe you sleep through the sirens — after all, you’re used to them — but the explosions, shuddering the walls, shake you awake. Hurriedly, you decide to move to a safe place, a subway station or a friend’s house with thick walls. You grab your go bag, which since February has been by your front door, complete with your laptop, chargers and documents.

Or perhaps you decide not to leave. You make yourself some coffee and do chores while listening to the explosions, careful to keep away from the windows. You call the school to ask when to bring in your child (once the air raid is over, they tell you). When it is, you go to the supermarket to get a new pack of coffee, you drop by the post office to pick up some parcels. Amid the confusion and clatter, you continue to live.

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