Kyiv Holds As Ukrainians Erect Barricades

This picture taken on February 28, 2022 shows a road blocked by dumpsters and an old Lada car in Kyiv. - The Russian army said on February 28, 2022, that Ukrainian civilians could "freely" leave the country's capital... This picture taken on February 28, 2022 shows a road blocked by dumpsters and an old Lada car in Kyiv. - The Russian army said on February 28, 2022, that Ukrainian civilians could "freely" leave the country's capital Kyiv and claimed its airforce dominated Ukraine's skies as its invasion entered a fifth day. (Photo by Daphne ROUSSEAU / AFP) (Photo by DAPHNE ROUSSEAU/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

One week ago, Kyiv was largely like any big capital city: full of foreigners, with lively bars, restaurants, and people traveling in and about.

That shift happened fast.

Now, I’m told that Kyiv looks more like the image above: streets filled with makeshift barricades, checkpoints set up to root out Russian saboteurs in disguise.

Since Friday, when those same Russian operatives rose up around the city and engaged in firefights with Ukrainians, the city has largely gone dark on social media. There are far, far fewer images of central and suburban Kyiv.

What we have instead is the occasional picture or brief video that gets through – but mostly, there’s description of barricades on streets across the city, hastily welded tank traps, and soldiers constantly verifying who is who.

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People I’ve spoke with in the capital say that major intersections are blocked off by military barricades. Many other streets have been blocked off with large garbage trucks, old appliance, sandbags, and really anything that can work to impede movement and – if it comes to that – serve as a firing position.

Facebook groups that days ago were helping coordinate travel through and out of Kyiv are now empty, with any post immediately met with scolds that any information on positions could help the Russians.

Pictures of tactical positions are banned at the moment. One Irish Instagram streamer recorded himself nearly getting killed for doing just that.

Others have seen the same thing.

 “Neighborhood people gave us all this—old washing machines, tires, roofing, anything they could throw out of their windows—to create this barricade,” one Kyivan told the Wall Street Journal. “We will resist.”

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