Ukraine war diaries: 'The new reality has started' - Kyiv resident concedes war could last for years

·2-min read

Relentless bombing, mounting casualties and continued efforts to resist the Russian advance are fundamentally changing Ukraine's national psyche, according to Kyiv resident Ilyas Verdiev.

The 40-year-old married father says he and a growing number of Ukrainians are beginning to accept that a war - which has split his family and strewn more than 5.5 million refugees across Europe - could now last for years, the prospect of which is changing citizens' outlook.

"I think this is the period for all of us when we have to define and we have to realise that the new reality has actually started, and the formation of our new personality is going right now," Ilyas explains in this week's Sky News Ukraine War Diaries podcast.

"We have to admit it."

Russian troops recently took control of key areas in the disputed Donbas region - the focus of sustained fighting in recent months, in addition to key strategic gains in the south.

Ilyas, who refuses to allow his wife and two young sons to return to Kyiv from Poland - where they fled at the beginning of the war, started making audio diaries for Sky News shortly after the Russian invasion in February.

"How [are] we going to live for the next few years," continues Ilyas. "This formation is really important 'cos realising that life is not going to be the same as it was five months ago is really essential for all of us."

To listen to Ilyas' latest diary and that of Oksana, a Kyiv based professional who this week finds inspiration in the form of an 11-year-old fellow resident, listen to the latest Ukraine War Diaries omnibus.

Ukraine War Diaries - from Sky News multi-award winning series, StoryCast - follows personal lives in a country at war.

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