The Blitz 2.0: Ukrainians seek refuge in bomb shelters in photos resembling WW2
Despite the many memes, there do appear to be a lot of similarities between World War 2 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On February 23, journalists captured air raid sirens going off for the first time since WW2 in Kyiv and several other cities as Russia began its assault with a series of rocket launches into Ukraine.
The missile attacks have left a devastating impact on multiple Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv. Social media has since played a key role in the battle, highlighting not just Russian destruction, but also Ukrainian defiance. On February 24, footage emerged of one Ukrainian soldier telling a Russian warship to "go f**k yourself" before the bombing of Snake Island. Social media users have also captured the heroics of one Ukrainian fighter pilot, who has since been dubbed "The Ghost of Kyiv".
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Since the invasion began, we've also seen numerous photos and videos of ordinary residents, and the lengths they have had to go to in order to avoid being injured or killed. In some haunting photos, there appears to be a strong resemblance to The Blitz.
The Blitz 2.0
For those unaware, The Blitz is the name for Nazi Germany's bombing campaign of the United Kingdom between September 7, 1940, and May 11, 1941. For those eight months, the Nazi air force (Luftwaffe) ran an intense bombing campaign all over the country, while the Royal Air Force fought back in one of the most iconic aerial battles of WW2 known as 'The Battle of Britain'. During The Blitz, it was common for Britains to seek shelter in large bomb shelters, such as subway stations for hours as the Nazis bombed several cities, including London.
A similar situation is now playing out in Ukraine amidst the Russian assault. Hundreds, if not thousands of Ukrainians are being forced to seek shelter in the nation's WW2-era bomb shelters, and subway tunnels as the battle for their nation rages overground. In December 2021, Kyiv city officials gave several journalists a tour of the bomb shelters, some of which were created during the Cold War, as the nation began preparing for the Russian invasion.
The surreal images have since gone viral on social media, leading to tweets like, "This is the Kharkiv subway in Ukraine. It looks like a colorized picture during WWII when the Germans bombed London." One person tweeted, "Families in a subway in Kyiv protecting themselves as Russia attacked Ukraine." A third said, "This is live in the Ukraine from someone on tiktok they are seeking refuge in a subway station."
This is the Kharkiv subway in Ukraine. It looks like a colorized picture during WWII when the Germans bombed London. pic.twitter.com/CBG1LnBBsM— Richard N. Ojeda, II (@Ojeda4America) February 24, 2022
Families in a subway in Kyiv protecting themselves as Russia attacked Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/mLp7GCLXPb— Sushil Rao (@sushilrTOI) February 25, 2022
This is live in the Ukraine from someone on tiktok they are seeking refuge in a subway station #Ukraine #UkraineWar pic.twitter.com/KI2eAIcvxg— Lykia (@KiaDlilo) February 25, 2022
AP's Chief Photographer tweeted, "People rest in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter Feb. 24, 2022. Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing airstrikes and sending troops and tanks from multiple directions in a move that could rewrite the world's geopolitical landscape." One user even shared photos from The Blitz, tweeting, "The similarities between the WWII subway photos of people seeking shelter next to the photos of Ukrainians doing the same thing tonight feels heartbreaking."
People rest in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter Feb. 24, 2022. Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing airstrikes and sending troops and tanks from multiple directions in a move that could rewrite the world's geopolitical landscape. pic.twitter.com/IFR5VPajLF— Emilio Morenatti (@EmilioMorenatti) February 24, 2022
The similarities between the WWII subway photos of people seeking shelter next to the photos of Ukrainians doing the same thing tonight feels heartbreaking #kyiv #ukraine #shelter @lookner pic.twitter.com/Ft88DUxpAm— CaseyPromise (@ChronicDayDrmr) February 25, 2022
There are plenty of other images and videos now emerging from the shelters as we enter day two of Russia's invasion. It indicates the haunting extremes Ukrainians have to go to in order to ensure their safety, while others engage in a battle with the Russian forces.