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Ukraine Climbing Gym Becomes Bomb Shelter

As the war continues, climbing gyms offer their spaces to maintain the safety of their communities and resist Russian occupation

As war continues in Ukraine, Ukrainian industry workers consolidate their efforts toward repelling Russian forces. Many Ukrainian athletes take it upon themselves to fight for their country’s independence. Those that cannot fight vocalize a need for support from the communities in which they have influence. Although Ukraine’s climbing gyms have closed to sport, they remain open in support of resistance.

TheWall in Lviv, Ukraine –  photo by Stan Kleshnov

Ivan Ishchenko worked at UP before the Russian invasion. Today, he manages a very different role at the Kyiv-based climbing gym. “Our gym became a bomb shelter and humanitarian aid distribution facility as of now,” Ishchenko said. “One of our founders has joined the armed forces.”

According to “The Military Balance” report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Ukraine had 196,000 active soldiers, and 900,000 reservist at the onset of the Russian invasion. These values have been bolstered by men between the ages of 18 and 60.

“Our team consisted of women and all of our coaches but one left Kyiv and are now refugees in Ukraine and abroad,” Ishchenko concluded.

TheWall in Lviv, Ukraine –  photo by Stan Kleshnov

As the image above describes, boxes filled with supplies await Ukrainians hoping to survive the conflict. While there exist many ways to have solidarity with Ukraine, none speak louder than donating to their cause.

“If you want to donate, please donate to our army as it is the only guarantor of our business prosperity in the future. I personally donate here, these people are doing a fantastic job in supplying our soldiers with the necessary equipment.”

In Lviv, TheWall facilitates a similar role in a different capacity. TheWall team member Stan Kleshnov said, “Our gym is opened as a temporary shelter for refugees who want to go abroad or travel to other Ukrainian cities. A lot of people started to calling us in the last 2 weeks to come in for training, but I believe we must continue to help as a place to rest and sleep.”

To support this gym directly, click here.

TheWall in Lviv, Ukraine –  photo by Stan Kleshnov

Featured image of UP by Ivan Ishchenko.