A Ukrainian woman with friends in Kolkata spent Thursday night in a parking lot in Kyiv, “crying, shaking and shivering”, with 80 other families.
Nataliia S. was accompanied by her husband and their 14-year-old son.
The Telegraph could last contact her at 10.49am on Friday (IST) asking whether she could respond to messages.
Her answer: “No, not now.”
Nataliia, who works and lives in the Ukrainian capital, spoke to this newspaper in phases on Thursday night.
We are not safe. We are living in a basement parking lot with 80 other families.
People have also brought their cats and dogs along.
We are with our neighbours in the parking lot… crying, shaking and shivering.
We have taken shelter here because everyone is saying there will be shelling at night.
We are hearing the terrible sounds of military aircraft. We kept hearing the sounds of helicopters and aircraft hovering over our house throughout the day.
Phone connectivity is erratic; social media messaging services are still working.
This morning, around 5am, we were woken up by phone calls from our relatives in Kharkiv (close to the Russian border), who were running to a shelter to escape bombing. They were panic-stricken.
In some time, we heard sounds of bomb explosions, too. One after another.
At 6am, I went to withdraw money from an ATM. Many people were there waiting for cash but everyone was polite and behaving decently.
At 8am, I went to the supermarket to stock up on some provisions. I bought bread, biscuits and sausages.
There is so much tension. The fear of an air attack was hanging heavy all the time and that forced us to shift to the basement.