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Kyiv is 'not the city I knew before the war,' yet the city is 'coming back to life'

Joining FRANCE 24 from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, is Vitaly Sych, Editor-in-Chief of NV Media (The New Voice of Ukraine). He has been keeping a war diary that's just been published by Die Zeit and the Atlantic Council. For most of the 3-month-old war he's been based in Lviv, in western Ukraine. "And I finally got back home after almost 80 days, and I was anxious to see how the city looks," recounts Mr. Sych. "And, of course, it's not the city I knew before the war. There are a lot of fortifications, there are a lot of checkpoints, there are alot of anti-tank hedgehogs." As war rages on in the east of Ukraine, people are returning to the capital "because they believe it's relatively safe now." The biggest threat Kyiv residents are currently facing are Russian missile strikes. "We have air raid sirens twice or three times a day," explains Mr. Sych. "The range of Russian missiles means that you are vulnerable anywhere: in Lviv, in Odesa, or in Kyiv, it's all the same. As long as you don't have artillery and an invasion on the edge of your city, then you are more or less OK." FRANCE 24's François Picard points out that there have been "noises out of Paris, out of Berlin, saying total war can only go on for so long. At some point, there's going to have to be negotiations." Ukraine is all for negotiations and peace talks, responds Mr. Sych, yet the question still remains, "peace talks about what? If the peace talks are about the fact that the Russians want to keep not only Crimea and the so-called DNR and LNR, but also the territory of Ukraine they've already occupied by now, which means the south of Ukraine and larger parts of the east of the country, then probably it's not the conversation we should have. It's our people and it's our land."
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