BBC's Clive Myrie reflects on reporting from Kyiv in atmosphere of 'rumour and dread'

Clive Myrie has been reflecting on his time in Kyiv. (Getty Images)
Clive Myrie has been reflecting on his time in Kyiv. (Getty Images)

BBC News reporter Clive Myrie has been reflecting on his time reporting from under-siege Ukrainian capital Kyiv, describing the city as "awash with rumour and dread".

The seasoned foreign correspondent spent two weeks updating BBC viewers on the Ukraine crisis from the frontline of attacks by Russia, at various points having to shelter underground and don a flak jacket mid-report.

Read more: Clive Myrie shares frustration at fake news about Ukraine crisis

On Sunday, he began the long journey out of Ukraine as the broadcaster began to pull its reporters out of the conflict zone and is now headed back to London via Moldova and Romania.

Myrie, 57, wrote for the BBC: "There was a real fear foreign saboteurs were moving among the population and anyone caught outdoors would have been arrested."

Cars burnt down on February 27th as a result of shelling by the Russian army near a 16-story apartment building on Mykola Lavrukhin Street in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine on March 7, 2022.  (Photo by Hennadii Minchenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Kyiv's residents have been forced to flee or take shelter underground. (Hennadii Minchenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He added: "You could see the nervousness on the faces of the soldiers and partisans manning checkpoints, despite the black balaclavas shielding them from the cold. Their eyes told stories of apprehension, concern, worry and existential threat."

Myrie himself was staying in a basement car park in the centre of Kyiv which had become a make-shift bomb shelter.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon calls Clive Myrie 'unsung hero' for his reports from Kyiv

Reflecting on the constant threat of attack from Russian forces, Myrie wrote: "The city was awash with rumour and dread. Who might that be in the bomb shelter next to you, who is listening in to your conversation in the bread queue? Best stay indoors and observe the curfew."

The BBC reporter is now headed back to London. (Richard Gray/EMPICS Entertainment)
The BBC reporter is now headed back to London. (Richard Gray/EMPICS Entertainment)

He continued: "Villages, towns and cities across the land saw a vanishing, as citizens descended underground to subterranean worlds of refuge."

The reporter recalled a woman he had seen feeding birdseed to pigeons after the lifting of a weekend-long curfew.

Read more: Clive Myrie shares sobering moment he penned goodbye letter to family

He wrote: "I can’t get the image of the woman feeding the pigeons out of my head. She was risking bombs and missiles to feed the pigeons.

"For me, she represents strength and courage – the indomitability of an independent state, not the cowering fear of the colonised."

Watch: New Mastermind host Clive Myrie replaces John Humphrys after two decades