Staying in the city’s metro system – remain with faith! 

For more than a month, Russia has been waging war against Ukraine.  During this time, the city of Kharkiv experienced constant shooting and air strikes.  Kharkiv metro stations have turned into a complete bomb shelter, where all those who can get to it are located: women, children, elderly people, etc.  The main task of the city authorities and volunteers is to provide humanitarian assistance to people, in particular with food, medicine, and essential necessities.  About 15 thousand people are in the Kharkiv metro, which serves as a cover during the war.  This was reported in the press service of the Kharkiv City Council with reference to the words of the mayor of Kharkiv Igor Terekhov, who gave an interview to the program “Facts ICTV”.

In order not to lose connection with reality, people constantly exchange news, arrange small performances of popular Ukrainian songs; children turn some parts of the metro into real playgrounds.  Life in the Kharkiv metro is going to go, no matter how it sounds in the conditions of war. 

However, today we want to tell you about how food in the metro is arranged, how people prepare their food, how they try to solve urgent food problems, coordinating with local authorities, volunteers and willing to help. 

First, the city authorities, volunteers and all those willing to bring to the metro various ready mixtures for soups and borsches (traditional Ukrainian dish) , which are already being prepared in the metro itself.  In other words, small underground-field kitchens are being arranged, which are necessary not only for cooking, but also for its further distribution. 

Secondly, the metro starts to organize small mobile kitchens: it can be mobile ovens or electric stoves that help to cook food.  Such kitchens are rather individual, than collective, but the inhabitants show great unity, so they help each other. 

Thirdly, the metro is delivered with cooked food. Such food is prepared by local volunteers, cafes and restaurants, which remained to work in the city, but have reformatted their own production for the urgent needs of the city and its inhabitants.  Usually, these are ready sets of food, which can consist of several dishes; they are already distributed for individual portions and distributed to all who are in the metro. 

Every day we see how our city is staying strong, how our people find different opportunities to maintain food security, how in the conditions of war a new food system of the city is formed with its own logistics and new, innovative, and mechanisms of provision of the needs of residents of the city.  

Author: Olena Muradyan, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University