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'We've been living in hell': Ukrainians in Dnipro await airstrikes – amid fears of Russian spies

Every night now the air raid sirens wail – and people scramble for safety in Dnipro.

This war is getting uglier as men, women and children cower for another night in the darkness.

Dnipro is strategically important – an arterial city bridging east and west Ukraine.

Kyiv TV tower hit; Putin ‘displays outbursts of anger’; some Russian forces ‘surrender without fight – live updates

Women and children are hiding in underground shelters

There have not been any airstrikes yet but people here think it’s only a matter of time.

Russian jets are flying closer, triggering the alarms on a daily basis.

‘We are all nervous’

More on Ukraine

Diana is huddled with a few possessions in the cold and gloom. She says she is very worried.

“We are all nervous,” she says. “We are all sitting on bags. We grabbed all our documents, our children sleep in their clothes.

“We always have bottles of water and medicine bags so that if the sirens sound we can run for cover.

“We do not know where the rocket will hit, what will happen to our city, who will come here and how everything will be in five minutes.

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Hospitals treat injured soldiers

“In the last few days we’ve been living in hell.”

This is a place that is awaiting its fate.

The UN is moving all non-essential staff and their families – a large group formed a convoy at first light to head for the border.

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Civilians cowering in fear in Mariupol

On the roads to the south of where we are Ukrainian armour rushes to meet the growing threat.

We watch columns of troops advancing to reinforce the defence of this region.

The drivers on the roads salute them as they roar by – it may be a small gesture but it is another sign that this country is united in its resistance to the Russian invasion.

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As cities across Ukraine prepare for a Russian escalation, Sky News speaks to civilians signing up for the army to defend their country and prevent further escalation.

An atmosphere of paranoia

Inside the city there’s an atmosphere of paranoia and suspicion.

As rumours of Russian spies circulate we watch as a man is detained at gunpoint.

He’s marched away for questioning at a nearby barracks.

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Kyiv TV tower hit by missile

And all the time roads and buildings are being fortified. This is a fight for the soul of this country.

The sense of apprehension can be overwhelming. People believe they know what will happen when Vladimir Putin’s forces will arrive.

‘We will kill them’

But the number of volunteers for the Territorial Defence is overwhelming.

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Inside brewer’s Molotov making operation

It has so many volunteers that they can’t all join at once.

Davide has enrolled and is making Molotov cocktails to defend his city.

“It’s not just the military, every citizen now makes Molotov cocktails, gathers supplies and buys weapons,” he says.

Read more:
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine mapped – what happened on day five
‘We were told they would welcome us’: Russian soldier moments before death
Urban war expert’s advice on how civilians can defend themselves
The children too sick to flee the Russian bombs

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“We will meet him (Putin) here. If he wants the so-called ‘Russian world’ to come here, we will meet him from every window and every corner.

“We will kill them, so they will regret it very much,” he says, his eyes glinting with defiance.

But as this brutal war descends further, it will be the innocent who bear the brunt of Russia’s aggression.

There will be many more frightening nights in underground bunkers.


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