Over 1,000 children hide underground in Donetsk to escape war

World Today

Ukraine’s children could suffer from the war for years to come. In the city of Donetsk, hundreds are living in underground shelters due to the fighting. CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reported from Donetsk.

Over 1,000 children hide underground in Donetsk to escape war

Ukraine's children could suffer from the war for years to come. In the city of Donetsk, hundreds are living in underground shelters due to the fighting. CCTV's Kate Parkinson reported from Donetsk.

The bomb shelters provide a degree of safety, but they are unsanitary, crowded, and freezing.

For the children, life underground is a difficult existence. They are missing out on school and are rarely allowed out to play.

The United Nations recently visited 12 bomb shelters. In Donetsk city alone they found an estimated 1,000 children hiding underground. They spent their days and nights listening to the sounds of heavy shelling.

In some ways, the children at an orphanage in Donetsk are the lucky ones. The staff, who’ve not received salaries since June, said they try to create a safe environment for the children. They are encouraged to express their fears and nightmares about the ongoing conflict through art and therapy.

Marina Fedotova is a psychologist, and she said the children’s images are very revealing.

“In the majority of cases, the children have been brought here from places that were shelled, so they have witnessed not only destroyed houses, weapons, and fighting around them, but they could also wounded and dead both fighters and civilians,” she said.

The U.N. said 1.7 million children are affected by this conflict. Many will live with the psychological trauma for years to come.