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Zelensky orders audit of bomb shelters, review of air defense systems

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 2, 2023 4:40 PM 2 min read
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President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin and Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko to conduct a full audit of all bomb shelters in Ukraine.

He also ordered a "comprehensive review" of Ukraine's air defense systems.

The decision, announced on June 2, came after three people died in Kyiv while trying to enter a closed shelter during a Russian attack the day prior.

A 33-year-old woman, as well as a 34-year-old woman and her nine-year-old daughter, were killed in Kyiv’s Desnianskyi district, where Russian missile debris fell on a clinic and a residential building.

The husband of the 33-year-old woman told reporters that his wife was trying to get into a shelter in a medical facility, which turned out to be closed.

Zelensky promised a "firm" response to the people responsible and the authorities have launched a criminal investigation.

Civilian deaths in Kyiv spark outrage over closed bomb shelters
The case of the three victims of the June 1 missile strike in Kyiv, who died while trying to enter a closed air defense shelter has sparked anger from Ukrainian officials and the public.

According to Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko, the responsibility lies with the head of the medical facility and the Desnianskyi district head, Dmytro Ratnikov, suggesting they should be removed from their posts.

Both the Interior Ministry and the mayor have already promised regular police checks of the city’s shelters to prevent similar incidents in the future.

There are currently over 4,000 shelters in Kyiv. Mayor Klitschko received complaints from the citizens that many of them are in poor condition, even though the city allocated 100 million Hr. ($27,100) to each district for the renovation and maintenance during the recent months.

To increase the capacities, Director of the Kyiv City Municipal Security Roman Tkachuk promised to open private and communal objects that could serve as shelters, the news outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported.

"We have a Fund of Protective Structures of Civil Defense. If the premises of private ownership are included in the protective structures, they must be permanently open," Tkachuk said.

"I would like to remind you that in our city today there are 4,455 warehouses, dual-use facilities, of which almost 1,100 are privately owned."

Each shelter is to be assigned a commandant or a responsible resident who will be able to make the shelter accessible when needed.

Tkachuk promised to enforce this measure in case some owners decide not to follow it.

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