Ukraine Says Inspections Found Nearly a Quarter of its Air-Raid Shelters Locked or Unusable

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference at the European Political Community Summit in Moldova, Thursday. (Carl Court, Pool via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Concerns around civilian safety spiked in Ukraine on Saturday, as officials announced that an inspection had found nearly a quarter of the country’s air-raid shelters locked or unusable, just days after a woman in Kyiv allegedly died waiting outside a shuttered shelter during a Russian missile barrage.

The Ukrainian interior ministry said through its press service Saturday that of the “over 4,800” shelters it had inspected, 252 were locked and a further 893 “unfit for use.”

That same day, the Kyiv regional prosecutor’s office reported that four people were detained in a criminal probe into the 33-year-old’s death on Thursday outside the locked shelter. The prosecutor’s office said that one person, a security guard who had failed to unlock the doors, remained under arrest, while three others, including a local official, had been put under house arrest.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the suspects face up to eight years in prison for official negligence that led to a person’s death.

Also on Saturday, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that city authorities have received “more than a thousand” complaints regarding locked, dilapidated or insufficient air-raid shelters within a day of launching an online feedback service.

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