Bowling centers have served as shelters during major storms and as safe houses during times of flooding, but rarely have they been used for protecting citizens from the elements after their homes had been bombed.

Yet that’s exactly how Cosmos Bowling in Cherkasy was being utilized on Feb. 25 a few days after Russia began its military assault on Ukraine.

Cosmos Bowling is one of the first to have been built in Ukraine and features eight lanes, four pool tables, a bar, a 150-seat restaurant, a children’s playroom and a summer terrace. But in the early days of the war, its primary purpose was to provide warmth to displaced residents.

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