Plaster peels off the walls, a single bulb dangles from the ceiling and, at night, the temperature can sink precipitously.
But the chance of Russian artillery thundering down on Kyiv once more makes the bunker necessary.
“We have to be underground because… you never know,” Timur Miroshnychenko told The Telegraph.
“You don’t have a schedule of air raid alerts when Russia decides to launch their missiles... we have to be underground not to interrupt the broadcasts.”
Since 2007, Mr Miroshnychenko has either presented or commentated on every Eurovision contest for Ukrainian television, making him the country’s answer to Graham Norton.
However, it was anything but a given that he would return this year.
The 36-year-old began the war as a driver, delivering aid and transporting refugees across the border. In March, he co-hosted a “Save Ukraine” rally in Warsaw.
When he returned to Kyiv after Russian forces withdrew from the region, he relaunched his morning TV show: it focuses on the war, naturally, but with a “lighter tone” than the straightforward news.
On Saturday night, Mr Miroshnychenko will be rooting for Ukrainian entrant Kalush Orchestra to claim the top prize in the final, borne on a tide of international sympathy. Many of his countrymen will follow along under curfew.
Eurovision was founded in 1956 as a light-hearted show intended to help unify a continent battered by war. That history resonates to this day, said Mr Miroshnychenko.
“Maybe now is the most important contest in the history of Eurovision. To unite everyone, not only governments of their countries, but mainly the people of those countries. It’s very important.”
In the final, Kalush Orchestra’s mix of rap and traditional Ukrainian music is expected to sweep the public vote. If it also scores highly with the professional juries, then Kyiv stands a good chance of winning for the third time in 17 appearances.
Its song, Stefania, is a tribute to singer Oleh Psiuk’s mother sung entirely in Ukrainian – only the second time the language has been used in Eurovision final history.
It is punchy and melodious, weaving rap verses around the sounds of the telenka, a long wooden flute-like instrument.
“Mother, sing me the lullaby… You can’t take willpower from me as I got it from her…” go the translated lyrics. “I’ll always find my way home… Even if all roads are destroyed.”
“It’s a dedication to all the Ukrainian mothers who are trying to get their children to safe places, to cover them from these terrible events,” said Mr Miroshnychenko. “I can say that it’s about Ukraine because Ukraine is a mother for all of us.”
Kalush Orchestra was not even supposed to make the finals. It was a last-minute stand-in, called up two days before the war started because Alina Pash, the country’s initial choice, was withdrawn over a controversial visit to Russia-controlled Crimea in 2015.
Before the war, Russian artists were popular in Ukraine. Much of the population, especially in the east and south, are Russian speakers.
However, tastes have changed as Russian troops leave a trail of murder, rape and devastation across the country. Russian songs are now absent from the iTunes charts, while videos of Ukrainian drones obliterating Moscow’s tanks are set to patriotic Ukrainian tunes.
“If our armed forces fight on the front line, of course, all of us are trying to do something to help them,” said Mr Miroshnychenko. “And of course, music, Ukrainian, especially Ukrainian music right now, it’s a part of this battle as well.”
Ukraine, he feels, will take home the coveted glass microphone. But with Russian forces beaten back from Kyiv and moving slowly through the Donbas, he sees bigger prizes ahead.
“Everyone in Ukraine wants this victory,” he said. “And it’s going to be the first victory before the main victory we are all waiting for.”
What of the British contestant, Sam Ryder? Mr Miroshnychenko told The Telegraph he will be voting for him and expects many of his compatriots to do so too, given they cannot vote for Kalush Orchestra under competition rules.
Ukrainians, he said, support the countries that have supported them in the war.
“All Ukrainians in Poland are going to vote for Polish artists just to send their love and for support from Poland. And if we are talking about Ukrainian votes in Europe, of course, Poland and the United Kingdom will receive, I think, the most from the Ukrainian audience.”
That might help the UK avoid the dreaded “nul points” received in 2019 and 2021 and reach their highest position in years, battling it out at the top of the table with the likes of Italy and Spain for second place.
For once, political voting may play to Britain’s favour, instead of leading to accusations that countries are persecuting its contestants out of spite.
From his base, Mr Miroshnychenko has a final message for British viewers before the singing, dancing and vamping begins.
“Just a big, big, big, big kiss and hug from all the Ukrainians, because it’s really very important for us. We now see our real friends, our real brothers, and it’s not the Russians, definitely. It’s Polish people, British people, American people.”