Evacuation bags and bomb shelters: Ukrainians exchange practical advice on social networks amid fears of a Russian invasion | world news

Anastasiia Bezpalko’s most popular TikTok video is a guide to what to pack to prepare if war breaks out in Ukraine.

Filmed in her living room, the 19-year-old explains how to make the perfect emergency survival bag.

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The 19-year-old’s TikTok video aims to answer “What is a bug out bag and what should it contain?” Photo: nastia.bezpalko/TikTok

The backpack should be small.

Don’t forget your important documents.

A first aid kit is essential.

Like a good knife.

It’s a stark contrast to her Instagram, which is full of smiling photos of her with friends or on vacation, like many young people her age.

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Anastasiia’s video has been viewed approximately 180,000 times and received over 400 comments.

Some thank her for her advice, others accuse her of spreading fear.

For Anastasiia, the situation is clear: “To people who comment that I’m causing panic: Our country has been at war for eight years. This is basic information you need to know. Informed = armed.”

She is one of many Ukrainians who have gone online to seek and share practical advice as the specter of a Russian invasion hangs over them.

Data from Google Trends, which analyzes the popularity of search queries, shows that searches for “Russia Ukraine War” in Ukrainian have increased significantly over the past month.

The data also shows that people are increasingly looking for information about the emergency survival bags that Anastasiia talks about in her video.

Searches for “bug-out bag”, nickname of the emergency bag, have increased sharply in the last month.

In addition to searching for information on bug repellent bags, people are talking about it on social media.

Posts like this simple illustration showing what to pack in a bug out bag are common on Twitter.

And comments appeared in various Facebook groups that were not designed to discuss the potential conflict.

A post in a leading Facebook group for teachers provides a “step-by-step guide” to making bug bags for adults and children.

A Facebook group for teachers features a post with instructions on how to pack an emergency bag, known as a
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A Facebook group for teachers features a post with instructions on how to pack an emergency survival bag, known as an ‘anxious backpack’ or ‘anxious bag’. Picture: Facebook

But Ukrainians are not just talking about making a bag that can be put in a corner and, hopefully, forgotten.

Online posts talk about other practical measures. They urge people to make digital copies of their passports. They discuss first aid training. Others wonder if it is worth buying a gun.

“Fill your tub with water,” one person wrote on Reddit, an online forum.

Advice given on Reddit included tips for securing access to water during conflict.  Photo: Reddit
Picture:
Advice given on Reddit included tips for securing access to water during conflict. Photo: Reddit

Meanwhile, a mother on Facebook writes: “Expand your family plan.”

“It seems quite strange right now, but thoughtful action and planning will make things much easier,” she adds.

She suggests setting up a meeting place, having all family members carry fully charged power banks for cell phones, knowing where all the local hospitals are, and writing down the numbers. phone on paper.

“There may be no internet or electricity,” she warns.

These chats aren’t just between strangers online.

Ukrainian news channels aired segments dedicated to packing a bug out bag, with a recent segment garnering more than 60,000 views online.

The presenter begins the piece by saying, “Almost every day everyone says that the Kremlin is proactively preparing for a full-scale incursion into our state. How can we stay calm in this?”

A TV program on how to pack an emergency bag broadcast by Телеканал ICTV has been viewed over 60,000 times.  Photo: Youtube/Teлеканал ICTV
Picture:
A TV program on how to pack an emergency bag broadcast by Телеканал ICTV has been viewed over 60,000 times. Photo: Youtube/Teлеканал ICTV

He then gives advice on how to make copies of documents, have plenty of money and be prepared to go analog.

“You must be ready [deal with] problems with the Internet,” says the journalist. “Experts recommend having a printed map with you…rather than relying on a GPS navigator. It’s best to wrap maps and documents in a plastic bag so they don’t get wet by accident.”

The government has also shared information online to help people prepare.

This map released by the government shows where bomb shelters are located in the city, although some have claimed the information is not up to date.

A map showing the location of bomb shelters has been released by the Ukrainian government.  Photo: Google Maps/ Офіційний портал Києва
Picture:
A map showing the location of bomb shelters has been released by the Ukrainian government. Photo: Google Maps/ Офіційний портал Києва

Online searches for these bomb shelters have increased in much the same way as for bug out bags.

In Kiev, searches for “bomb shelters” in Ukrainian have almost reached the levels seen almost eight years ago with the annexation of Crimea.

Whether the whole country could be drawn into the war has preoccupied Ukrainians ever since Russia began moving its troops closer to their common border last year.

But for many, the specter of invasion is not new – fighting in eastern Ukraine continues to this day.

This is reflected online with some jokes that their preparation involves drinking red wine and trying not to be nervous.

Some comments on how to prepare for a potential war are more light-hearted.  Picture: Facebook
Picture:
Some comments on how to prepare for a potential war are more light-hearted. Picture: Facebook

While others are clearly telling commentators to calm down.

A man shares a meme with the legend
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A man shares a meme with the caption ‘People’. Calm down and pull yourself together! in response to a question about an air raid shelter. Picture: Facebook

A man replied to a Facebook post about nearby bomb shelters with an image of a lemur captioned: “People. Calm down and pull yourself together!”


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