(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
In a makeshift maternity hospital in the basement of a Ukrainian hospital, young mother Katerina Sukharokova struggled to control her emotions as she held her son in her arms as doctors upstairs ran to treat the victims of the Russian bombing.
“I was worried, I was anxious that I would give birth to my baby in these moments,” the 30-year-old said in a trembling voice. “I am grateful to the doctors who helped this baby to be born in this condition. I believe that everything will go well “.
The basement of the maternity hospital in the coastal city of Mariupol, Ukraine, was turned into a bomb shelter and a neonatal ward as Russian forces escalated their attacks in busy urban areas on Tuesday. The workers wrapped a newborn and carried it up the stairs several floors down to the basement, where a dimly lit room full of beds and cots housed workers and patients.
A similar scenario unfolded in Kharkov, where a maternity hospital was moved to a bomb shelter. The mothers there rocked the newborns in cots, between mattresses stacked in the windows for protection.
According to the British Ministry of Defense, there has been an increase in Russian raids on residential urban areas in recent days. Mariupol was one of three cities – along with Kharkiv and Kherson – that were besieged by Russian forces.
An industrial center in the Sea of Azov, Mariupol is considered a key target for Russian forces for its economic value and position, which would help Russia build a land corridor between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia.
< p> Injured from the bombings flock to the maternity hospital of Mariupol, some of which fail to survive.
AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
Oleksandr Balash, head of the anesthesiology department, telephoned an Associated Press reporter and picked up a sheet covering a dead young man.
“Need I say more?” “He's just a boy,” he said. “These are all peaceful citizens who were injured in a simple neighborhood.”
Another woman, bleeding from her mouth, was screaming in pain as she treated her wounds. A little further on, doctors were performing surgery on other people injured in the bombings.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the latest attacks as a brutal terror campaign.
In Kharkov, at least six people were killed when the administrative building of the area in Eleftherias Square was hit by something believed to be a rocket. The attack on Ukraine's largest square – the core of public life in the city of about 1.5 million – was seen by many Ukrainians as proof that the Russian invasion was not only intended to hit military targets, but also to break their morale. .