Toughened by war's scars, Kyiv presses on

STORY: From Kyiv's nightlife, to schools in metro stations, to city tours.

Despite the threat of missile and drone attacks, signs of calm resilience have become increasingly commonplace in Ukraine's capital.

The city has been back under fire since last autumn - part of what Kyiv says is a Kremlin campaign to break Ukrainians' will.

Russia denies targeting civilians, and says its attacks are designed to weaken Ukraine's military.

"Air raid alarm, metro works as a bomb shelter."

This is an announcement that metro worker Tamara Chayalo has heard often since the beginning of the February 24 assault.

She said those first days were the hardest, when the metro system transformed into a sprawling network of shelters.

She didn't go home for three weeks.

Much of the city of around 3 million people sheltered indoors and underground, including Olena's high school class.

To avoid lessons being disrupted by yet another Russian attack, she quickly moved her class underground when the air-raid sirens sounded.

And above ground, city guide Yulia Bezenko and her predominantly Ukrainian clients carried on under extraordinary circumstances.

She has since tailored her tours to include bomb shelters.

And business is booming. Last year, Yulia conducted 175 tours, having resumed in April.

The collective logic is a matter of "when, if not now?", she says.

Svitlana Semenets joined one the walks:

"Kyiv was always about hedonism in one way or another – about indulgence, about a sense of leisure. But it has grown muscles, armored up a bit. It knows what it is worth. It can protect itself. It has endured very difficult times.”

The thirst of normality is also a feature of Kyiv's nightlife.

Revellers in Squat 17b flirt with the risk of attacks and an 11p.m. curfew to enjoy a few drinks and concerts.

But events there have also been adjusted to suit the times.

Entry fees have been replaced by donations for the military, which already exceed $100,000.

Performances and exhibitions are also often linked to the war.

Ukraine appears to be heading towards a long war; marked by clashes like the battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut, and by Russia's relentless bombing of Ukrainian infrastructure.

And media reports focus on an anticipated new Russian offensive.

While a common spirit has emerged in the past year, the fear of a new strike is ever-present.

Ukrainian mothers, like Kseniya Bulhakova, bringing their children to this playground hit by a missile attack in October, say they will not be safe until they win the war.