In pictures: Kyiv 'slowly returns to normal' as Ukrainian families enjoy spring

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A boy smiles as he walks through a park in Kyiv, Ukraine, after Russian forces left the city. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)

Following two months of war and devastation, Ukraine’s capital is “slowly returning to normal”, with families enjoying the spring sunshine.

Despite the onslaught on Kyiv, Vladimir Putin has failed to seize the city during his invasion of Ukraine, with Russia’s military moving their efforts to the eastern Donbas region instead.

As a result, Kyiv – which has been a graveyard of destroyed buildings and rubble – has started to resemble the city it was before the war started in February.

While it is not filled with crowds, the sight of families walking through parks is a far cry from the scenes of deserted streets from just a few weeks ago.

KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Kyiv residents are seeing some return to normality following the Russian invasion. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A child smiles as he plays outside following Russia's retreat from Kyiv. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man takes a picture of a woman in one of Kyiv's parks. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)

Business have even reopened – despite the ongoing threat of further attacks and the regular sound of air raid sirens.

Cafe Khlebniy was one such business to reopen on 16 April and is once again offering Ukrainians simple pleasures like coffee and cake.

Employee Andriy told Al Jazeera that it was “cool” to see people returning to Kyiv, adding: “There are more and more guests every day.

Watch: Russia is 'failing' in its Ukraine war aims

“It is gratifying that most people are returning to normal.”

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko also said that the city is “slowly returning to normal life”, telling EuroNews: "More and more people are returning home.

“To be a guest somewhere is nice, but being at home is better. Despite the shootings that are taking place, more people have decided to come home.”

KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: A woman swings her daughter on a swing as residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A woman swings her daughter on a swing in a Kyiv park. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Children climb playground equipment in Kyiv after Russian forces retreated from the Ukrainian capital. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A woman takes a photo in Kyiv's spring sunhine. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)

However, Klitschko warned that Russia may attack again in a fresh attempt to seize Kyiv, adding: “Capturing Kiev has always been one of the most important tasks for the Russian army.”

US secretary of state Antony Blinken also said it looked like Kyiv was “returning to normal”.

KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Businesses in Kyiv have started to reopen following the Russian invasion. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A woman and two children stop and stare at Kyiv following weeks of Russian bombardment. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)
KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 25: Residents of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv can walk freely in the streets and at the city's park enjoying a beautiful spring day after weeks of Russian attacks on April 25, 2022.. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A woman sits and paints in the spring sunshine of Kyiv. (Anadolu Agency/Getty)

He said: “We certainly saw people on the streets in Kyiv, evidence of the fact that the battle for Kyiv was won and there is what looks from the surface, at least, to be normal life in Kyiv.

“But that’s in stark contrast to what’s going on in other parts of Ukraine, in the south and the east, where the Russian brutality is doing horrific things to people every single day.”

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of the UK’s armed forces, said last month that Russia’s bid to take all of Ukraine during its invasion had “fallen apart” as Putin’s troops retreated away from Kyiv.

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