KIEV, 01 MAY – Sunny May Day in Kiev and strolls in the park, despite the war and the ever looming threat of Russian raids from the air. No demonstrations are scheduled for today in the Ukrainian capital, as there were none in previous years. Labor Day is seen as a “Soviet holiday”, and Ukrainians tend to spend it outdoors, in parks for a picnic. Also this year, some have taken a walk, on foot or by bike, on the island of Trukhaniv, which divides the Dnieper in the center of Kiev. On the pedestrian bridge to get to the park, which is accessed by showing a document to the soldiers who guard it, some fishermen throw the hook into the river, others do it from the beach. Someone dares to put on a bathing suit with temperatures that do not exceed 18 degrees. Past the café with the outdoor tables, young couples kiss on the benches, little families enjoy the warm sun for a walk, kids on bicycles or scooters await the call for the territorial defense, “when it’s our turn”. It is not the crowd of the usual days of celebration, but it is a first weekend of rest for many of them: “We have to live every moment of quiet”, says a girl from Borodyanka, one of the towns in northwestern Kiev most battered in March by the Russian invader. “We do not know what will happen in the future”, she adds with the thought turned to the Russian missiles that just three nights ago hit the center of Kiev. And waiting, in a mixture of fear and fatalism, for the date of 9 May which brings with it an enormous unknown: Russia has announced total war on Ukraine for that symbolic date, the anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis. (HANDLE).