As I approach my seventh month in Kyiv and now the second year of war, I feel it’s time to share a real connection with day-to-day life in Ukraine that anyone can experience.

One of the first mobile apps I downloaded when I arrived is called Kyiv Digital. Kyiv Digital is an essential component to daily life because it provides instant notification of potential incoming Russian missiles and Iranian drones. Knowing when to shelter in a basement or a metro station is crucial considering the murderous arbitrary strikes on the civilians of Kyiv.

Stand with Ukraine

The vast majority of people reading this blog and indeed on the planet, support the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russian tyranny. Downloading the Kyiv Digital app onto your smartphone is an authentic way to connect with the people of Kyiv and truly understand what it’s like to live under constant threat of death from above.

To install Kyiv digital on your iPhone, click here

To install Kyiv digital on you Android phone, click here

After installation you’ll begin to receive alerts of potential incoming missiles and drones that may hit the capital city, synchronized with the air raid sirens that regularly sound in Kyiv.You’ll receive a notification on your smartphone that’s accompanied by an ominous alarm that you’ve likely never heard before. 

On my first morning in Kyiv, I was awoken by a howling siren which made me jump from my bed and run to the window. I thought the air raid siren was blasting from outside my hotel, but it was my phone on the bedside table!

You may be Ukrainian after all

The first time you hear the alarm you’ll be terrified, but it’s surprising how quickly one can adapt to life under constant threat. Some will want to run to the basement, some will raise a middle finger to the sky and curse the Russians, and some of you will silence the alerts and go about your daily business as you become desensitised to the inconvenience of war.

No matter how you feel when you hear the alerts, take heart that in some small way you’re experiencing the hardships of war in real time. If you find yourself quickly adapting to a new reality, you are one small step closer to being a brave Ukrainian. 

Slava UkrainiHeroiam Slava!