Hundreds of thousands of people have returned to Kharkiv in recent months. The largest city in eastern Ukraine has gotten back a third of its population. Above freezing temperatures are alleviating power and heating problems.
The streets are empty in the Kharkiv city center. People can be seen in the subway where this year's Christmas tree has been set up. Hundreds of thousands have returned in recent months.
"Things are much calmer. We came back because we missed our city," Yelizaveta said.
"Many have returned. Plenty of people we know have returned from abroad, because this is our home. There is an air raid siren going off right now, but everyone is used to it by now. It doesn't really worry people anymore," Vlada said.
"It used to be scary. Now, when there's an air raid siren, we are used to it. The situation is not good, of course. We take cover when the siren goes off and go back to our everyday lives when it ends," Viktor shared.
It is nice to see the Estonian flag in Kharkiv. The local Estonians' society is helping humanitarian aid from Estonia also reach recently liberated Izium.
"Children's clothes, warm winter clothes mainly, gloves, scarves and jackets. Humanitarian aid from Estonia has gone to the residents of Kharkiv and Izium with whom we've been working for 10 years," head of the society Jelena Slivchenka said.
"There is not enough electricity. Things are different in different districts, with the power cut off at 2 p.m. in some and 5 p.m. in others. We are adjusting to the situation and will cope somehow," she said.
Estonians in Kharkiv are largely the offspring of those who emigrated in the 19th century. There are 16 members of the society left in Kharkiv today.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Marcus Turovski