Kyiv family stuck in bomb shelter 'waiting and hoping for the best' as Russian troops close in

"She doesn't understand only one thing: Why? Why is it happening?"

Speaking from a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Olena Gnes told ITV News Presenter Nina Hossain how her children are coping living in a war zone

A Ukrainian mother stuck in a bomb shelter with her children after husband left to defend their country said she is "hoping for the best" as Russian troops close in.

Olena Gnes, from Kyiv, is looking after their three children, aged seven, five and four months, on rations of food and water in a make-shift bomb shelter in the basement of a building.

More than half a million people have fled Ukraine in the six days since Moscow launched its invasion, while those stuck in the country are hunkered down underground living in fear of shelling.

Speaking from their shelter to ITV News, Olena said her eldest daughter fully understands the gravity of what is happening to their country and city - where hundreds have died in the fighting.

"She doesn't understand only one thing: Why? Why is it happening?" said the mother. "She was asking why Putin is such a piece of s*** and why is he attacking Ukraine? That's what she cannot understand."

The mother said all she can do is wait and hope 'for the best' Credit: ITV News

Olena and her children are surviving on rations of food, water and power - but she fears if they don't get help soon, their supplies will run out.

"I suppose for a couple of days we'll be absolutely fine, for one week we'll be okay, after two weeks we will be very hungry," she added.

Showing ITV News a bottle holding just several litres of water, she warned: "Honestly, I don't know for how long we can use it".

Olena showed ITV News the rations she has left for her children Credit: ITV News

New satellite images showed a huge military convoy stretching for 40 miles heading towards Kyiv, which Russian troops have their sights set on capturing in an apparent bid to overthrow the government.

"We know that the convoy is coming, we have seen the photos, said Olena. "And we've been warned about this two days ago that it would be happening," "So we are here waiting [to see] how it's going to happen and hoping for the best."

A 40 mile-long convoy of Russian troops near Invankiv, heading to Kyiv, was captured in satellite images Credit: Maxar Technologies

The mother said she last had contact with her husband two hours ago. She did not say where he is stationed defending their country.

"He wrote me that he's fine. I asked him if he needs something, he said that he's okay and that he loves me and our children," she said.

Olena fears President Vladimir Putin plans to invade other countries after Ukraine, which she believes he is "jealous" of because it is a "free, independent and prosperous country".

"Putin wants to have it [Ukraine] to create an empire and as well he wants to use our land and our resources... it's about power, money and after Ukraine he wants to go further to the Baltic states - to Finland, Poland, Turkey - he just wants to take as much power as possible," she said.