KYIV, Ukraine — In interviews at a children’s playground in Kyiv where missile fragments had whistled out of the sky earlier in the day, Ukrainians expressed a blend of stoicism and defiance on Thursday, saying that they needed to continue with their lives, despite the danger.
Families in the city, Ukraine’s capital, have settled into routines amid waves of Russian attacks and countless air-raid alarms. Thursday’s attack was the 10th missile barrage fired at Ukrainian cities in three months.
“We were at home and heard explosions, so we moved into the corridor,” Galina Khomina, a graphic designer. That was in keeping with the “rule of two walls,” which advises people to seek areas in an apartment with two walls between themselves and the exterior.
Ms. Khomina keeps a blanket in the corridor for her daughter, Nastya, who is 3. Soon after the booms, they heard the whistling of objects falling from the sky — debris from a cruise missile or the air defense weapon that had shot it down over the Pechersk neighborhood in central Kyiv.
When the air-raid alert had lifted a few hours later, Ms. Khomina had taken Nastya for a walk outside and found police tape and missile debris in the playground. After eyeing the metal fragments along with other parents, she had stayed to let Nastya, bundled in a purple coat and pink hat, play on the swings and slides.
“It was a first for us that it was so close,” she said. “We hope it will end soon. We are used to it, and we are not afraid. Life goes on. You only have one life.”
The twisted metal fell onto a basketball court, beside a dumpster, wounding no one and causing no damage in the park — fittingly known as “the rocket playground” for its rocket-shaped jungle gym.
In Kyiv, some parents respond to air-raid alerts by bundling their children in warm clothing and running for underground subway stops, the safest place during strikes. Others head to basements or remain in relatively safer areas of their homes. Leonid Fatkulin, 79, was in bed on the first floor of his two-story brick home in an outlying district when what he believes were fragments of a Russian missile landed on the roof.
“I was going to get up and shave when the explosion shook the house,” he said. A natural gas pipeline caught fire. Mr. Fatkulin said he had run upstairs, yelling at his son, Oleksandr, “Are you alive?”
Both men were unhurt. After firefighters put out the blaze, his son and his son’s friends sifted through the wreckage of the house.
“It’s not a war,” Mr. Fatkulin said, standing beside the remains of his house, a coat thrown over his bathrobe. “It’s a crime against humanity.”
Anton Osadchi, 15, a student at a culinary school, was strolling in the playground after the attacks canceled lessons. “We need to be victorious over the Russians,” he said.
Mykola, 8, was walking with his grandmother. When asked what had happened, he said, “all sorts of horseradish fell out of the sky.” To Mykola, horseradish sounds like a naughty word, and the attacks deserved his most punishing language.
His grandmother, Tetyana Kaplina, 75, a retiree, said she had been eating a breakfast of pancakes and sour cream with her husband when she “heard a loud bang and started shaking all over.”
“My husband doesn’t hear well, so he missed it,” she said. “He was lucky.”
The explosion and hiss of debris falling outside the window was terrifying, Ms. Kaplina said. “It’s something you can never get used to.”