Roads blocked in Kyiv as residents flee
A massive traffic jam blocked a main road out in Kyiv on Thursday, hampering Ukrainians’ efforts to evacuate the capital as Russia launched attacks against multiple cities in the nation.
Vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, Reuters reported. People were seen carrying bags and suitcases as they looked for a way out of Kyiv.
Some residents are reportedly choosing to drive out of the city toward the nearby town of Lviv, as it will likely be far away from areas being attacked.
Others are going toward the airport and bus stations. However, with the European Aviation Safety Agency warning airlines not to fly over or near Ukraine, some flights have been canceled.
“We planned to fly from Kyiv to Baku today. But we were told that the flight had been canceled because of the escalation of war in Ukraine,” an airport traveler, known only as Gulnara, told Reuters.
“No one is telling us what happened, what will happen to our flight, what should we do, where to go. We have no place to go to. No one is responding to us,” she added.
Other residents chose to stay home and stock up on essentials, as grocery stores and markets were reportedly packed with shoppers preparing for the invasion. Credit and debit cards were still working and lines also formed in front of ATMs, Reuters noted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military operation in Ukraine on Thursday morning after amassing thousands of troops and equipment near its borders. The order claims that “circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action.”