Pregnant woman and baby die after attack on hospital in Mariupol | Ukraine

A pregnant woman and her baby have died after Russia bombed the maternity hospital where she was meant to give birth, the Associated Press has learned. Images of the woman being rushed to an ambulance on a stretcher had circled the world, epitomizing the horror of the attack.

In video and photos after the bombing of the hospital in Mariupol last Wednesday, the woman was seen stroking her bloodied lower abdomen as rescuers rushed her through the rubble.

The woman was taken to another hospital closer to the frontline, where doctors labored to keep her alive. Realizing she was losing her baby, medics said, she cried out to them: “Kill me now.”

Timur Marin, a surgeon, said he found the woman’s pelvis crushed and hip detached. Medics delivered the baby via caesarean section but it showed no signs of life, Marin said. Then they focused on the mother.

“More than 30 minutes of mother’s resuscitation did not produce results,” Marin said. “Both died.”

In the chaos after the attack, medics did not have time to get the woman’s name before her husband and father came to take away her body. At least someone came to retrieve her, they said, so that she did not end up in one of the mass graves being dug for many of Mariupol’s dead.

Accused of war crimes, Russian officials claimed the maternity hospital had been taken over by Ukrainian extremists to use as a base, and that no patients or medics were left inside. Russia’s ambassador to the UN and the Russian embassy in London called the images “fake news”.

Associated Press journalists tracked down the victims on Friday and Saturday in the hospital where they had been transferred, on the outskirts of Mariupol.

In a besieged city that has been without food supplies, water, power or heat for more than a week, electricity from emergency generators is reserved for operating rooms.

As survivors described their ordeal, explosions outside shook the walls. The shelling and shooting in the area is sporadic but relentless.

  Woman who survived Mariupol maternity hospital airstrike recounts ordeal - video
Woman who survived Mariupol maternity hospital airstrike recounts ordeal – video

Mariana Vishegirskaya, a blogger, gave birth to a girl the day after the bombing. She wrapped her arm around newborn Veronika as she recounted the bombing. After photos and video showed her descending debris-strewn stairs while clutching a blanket, Russian officials claimed she was an actor in a staged attack.

“It happened on 9 March in Hospital No 3 in Mariupol. We were lying in wards when glasses, frames, windows and walls flew apart, ”said Vishegirskaya, still wearing the same polka-dot pajamas as when she fled. “We do not know how it happened. We were in our wards and some had time to cover themselves, some did not. ”

Her ordeal was one among many in Mariupol, which has become a symbol of resistance to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The failure to subordinate Mariupol has pushed Russian forces to broaden their offensive elsewhere.

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