WORKING-CLASS journalist Clive Myrie has reflected on the time he spent reporting on the conflict in Ukraine for BBC News, describing the “rumour and dread” that currently consumes its capital.
Clive, 57 who has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with fellow BBC reporter Lyse Doucet, the corporation’s Chief International Correspondent was praised by viewers for their honest and down-to-earth reporting from Ukraine.
After spending two weeks reporting from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Myrie has returned to London, having travelled to Romania after leaving Ukraine via Moldova.
Myrie, who is from Bolton in England recalled the fear palpable among those sheltering in make-shift bomb shelters in Kyiv.
“There was a real fear foreign saboteurs were moving among the population and anyone caught outdoors would have been arrested,” he said.
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.
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.”
He continued: “Villages, towns and cities across the land saw a vanishing, as citizens descended underground to subterranean worlds of refuge.”
Myrie specifically recalled a woman he had seen feeding birdseed to pigeons after the lifting of a weekend-long curfew.
He added: “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.”
In a tweet, Myrie later thanked members of the public for the support he received during the time he spent in Ukraine.