Monday’s activity at the field kitchen in Ukraine’s capital was intense. It provided volunteers with a way of contributing to the war effort and provided a welcome distraction from the distressing news about Russia’s growing invasion.

Oksana, a woman identified only by her husband in the Ukrainian army, stated that the kitchen duty allows her to stay on top of the latest developments.

She said that she had received information that people needed help in the kitchen from the tent village, which was situated between a multistory building and a barrier of stacked tires/sandbags. “I asked and they replied that we needed hands. We aren’t sitting in fearful messages on the news channels.”

Oleksiy Shevchenko was another volunteer in the kitchen. He said, “We are cooking soups and porridge for our army, civilians, and anyone who needs our assistance, including hospitals.”

As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine grew and Russian forces intensified their bombardment, volunteers chopped red peppers and boiled potatoes at various stations.

In what Ukraine called a medieval-style siege by Moscow, food, water, heat, and medicine became increasingly scarce, it was forced to submit to a siege of increasing severity.

The third round of negotiations between the sides ended with a top Ukrainian official stating that there had been minimal, unspecified progress in logistics to establish safe corridors that would allow civilians escape the fighting. Late Monday, Russia’s chief negotiator stated that he expects that these corridors will start operating on Tuesday. Despite repeated attempts to establish evacuation routes, they have been unable to do so amid the ongoing fighting.

Some of the field kitchen tents were adorned with blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags. The camp was surrounded by piles and stacks of wood crates. Boiling vegetable soup emitted steam into the cold atmosphere; wood fire blazed.

Camouflaged men inspected cans of food, where messages were written in black marker.

“Thank you, darlings! We are praying for you. God be with us!” he said.