Soccer stadium shelled in Irpin

Irpin developed as a bedroom town popular with people who commute to work in Kyiv. Many residents fled after the Russian invasion, but began to return when schools reopened in September. They are now working to restore damaged homes, schools and other structures.

There is a soccer ground in the center of the town where youths would gather in the evening for practice. The field is pockmarked in about a dozen of places from explosions, and debris remains piled up inside the locker room.

Vlad Zavorofnyi

“It’s hard to see the place we use for practice in such a terrible state,” said junior high schooler Vlad Zavorofnyi, 13, a member of the local soccer team. “I want everyone to help put it back to way it was.”

In addition to those who have returned to the town, Irpin will likely be taking in evacuees from areas where the fighting continues. There are calls for quickly constructing places where residents can gather and interact with each other.

Special cooperation: Prof. Hidenori Watanave (University of Tokyo Graduate School)

Reporting: Makiko Yanada, Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent