Belgian European Commissioner in Kyiv bomb shelter

The Belgian European Commissioner Didier Reynders is among the many thousands of people in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv that have sought safety from Russian bombing in underground shelters this Monday morning. Mr Reynders spoke to VRT News from three stories below ground in the underground car park of his hotel. The former Belgian Foreign Minister says that he is currently completely dependent on the internet and briefings from the security services for information about the situation above ground. 

On Monday morning many thousands of resident and hotel guest in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv were forced to seek sanctuary from Russian bombing in underground shelters. In what are likely to be retaliatory strikes for the attack on the Crimean Bridge.Numerous explosions have been heard in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities today (Monday). From the underground car park of his Kyiv hotel European Commissioner Reynders told VRT News that “I’am with around a hundred other people of floor -3 of the car park at our hotel. There is an air raid shelter here for guests and staff”. Air raid sirens first sounded in Kyiv at around 6am on Monday morning. The first bombs fell on the Ukrainian capital at around 8am. “I saw five explosions”, Mr Reynders told VRT News. Being underground he currently reliant on security service briefings and the internet for information about the situation above ground. Mr Reynders says that the evacuation of gusts and staff of the hotel to the air raid shelter was “very calm and orderly. This is the first time in three months that we have had to retreat to a really safe place. There have been air raid sirens before, but without any explosions”. Mr Reynders is currently on his fifth visit to Ukraine as Justice Commission he is there to follow the investigation into war crimes that is being carried out on behalf of the International Criminal Court. "I was on the ground yesterday with the Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor. I had appointments with various ministers planned for today, but these won’t be able to go ahead. We are awaiting further information. We could be stuck here for another few hours”, Mr Reynders said. 

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