For month after endless month, nights in Kyiv were punctuated by the wail of air raid sirens and the sound of explosions from missile and drone attacks. Now, an unusually long lull in nighttime bombardments of the city by Russian forces is allowing residents to do something they have been dreaming of — finally getting some sleep.
“I really feel the difference,” said Anastasia Tsvion, looking rested after a good night’s sleep, undisturbed by missiles dropping or sirens going off and forcing her to seek safety in a nearby subway station. “I can live a normal life,” said Ms. Tsvion, 27, who works as an analyst for a group tracking malicious Russian information campaigns. “Physically, I am not exhausted.”
Air raid sirens sounded only six times in Kyiv last month, the smallest number since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion last year, according to public data.
While no one expects the lull to continue for long, it has been welcomed by residents of a city that has been subject to more than 1,000 hours of air raid sirens from the start of the war through late September of this year, according to local authorities, as Russia sent waves of missiles and drones in an attempt to destroy crucial energy and military infrastructure, and break the will of the population.
Some 170 people have been killed since the attacks began last year, according to city officials, but health experts say that the repeated attacks have also taken a toll on those who survive, causing sleep disorders and chronic stress.
With the pause in attacks, Kyiv residents say they are feeling healthier, are more productive at work and less prone to nervous breakdowns.
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