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Pregnant woman and her baby die after maternity hospital airstrike in Ukraine


A pregnant woman and her unborn baby died after a Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in Ukraine.


A harrowing picture shows the woman being stretchered from the hospital and she later screamed "kill me, kill me" when she found her baby was lost - before she died herself.


The Russian airstrike destroyed the maternity hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol, killing three people including a young girl.


They are among the 1663 civilians who have died since the Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, the UK's Ministry of Defence has revealed.


President Volodymyr Zelensky branded the attack as an act of "genocide" and said waiting to give birth were wounded in the strike, while children were buried in the rubble.


The bleeding woman with a swollen belly was seen being carried on a stretcher past burned and mangled cars.


She was rushed to another hospital which was even closer to the front line, where doctors laboured to keep her alive.


Realising she was losing her baby, medics said she cried out to them: “Kill me now!”


Surgeon Timur Marin found the woman’s pelvis crushed and hip detached.


Medics delivered the baby via cesarean section, but it showed “no signs of life,” the surgeon said.


The medics then battled to save the mother.


“More than 30 minutes of resuscitation of the mother didn’t produce results. Both died," said Marin.


In the chaos after the airstrike, medics didn’t 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 so she didn’t end up in the mass graves being dug for many of Mariupol’s growing number of dead, said the doctors.


The Ukrainian authorities say 90 children have now been killed since the Russian invasion began.


Wednesday's airstrike was carried out during an agreed ceasefire period that was meant to allow the evacuation of civilians from the besieged southern city, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.


Previous attempts to allow civilians to evacuate safely failed, with harrowing images showing people running for shelter.


The explosion at the hospital was so powerful that the ground shook more than a mile away from the blast.


Pictures show an enormous crater left by the shelling, as explosions blew out windows and destroyed much of the front of the building.


Horror footage showed the charred remains of the hospital with wounded staff and patients being rushed out of the building into a devastating scene of burning cars and smouldering rubble.


The video showed holes where windows should have been in what appeared to be a badly damaged three-storey building at the hospital.


A wounded mum-to-be, who was led out of the wrecked unit, was pictured wrapped in a duvet to keep warm in the freezing temperatures.


In a cruel twist, Russia accused shamelessly accused the pregnant woman of helping to fake a barbaric hospital bombing


Mariupol city government said on Telegram said three people were killed and 17 injured in the attack.


"Russian troops are purposefully and ruthlessly destroying the civilian population of Mariupol," the statement went on.


"The whole world should know about Russia's crime against humanity, against Ukraine and against the people of Mariupol!


"The Russian occupying forces have dropped several bombs on the children's hospital. The destruction is colossal."


The World Health Organisation has confirmed 18 attacks on Ukrainian medical facilities since the start of the Russian invasion two weeks ago.


Mariupol's deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said the child killed in the hospital strike was a six-year-old girl.


"We had three buildings there, maternity hospital, children's hospital and children's therapy," he continued.


"It's good most of the visitors were in bomb shelters. We have more victims of this awful crime, so we transferred all of the suffered people and injured people to other hospitals, but this hospital was destroyed by Russian bombing for the last 5 days.


"We don't know where to put our injured people. We can confirm only the numbers (dead) the day before yesterday, so we have 1,207 civilians killed in Mariupol.


"There are only bodies we can collect on the street and it's not possible to bury them in private graves out of the city, that's why we only have one possibility to bury them in mass graves and unfortunately, we cannot identify them all."


The dead woman was spared a burial in one of Mariupol's mass graves


President Zelensky shared footage of the harrowing scene inside the building and said: "Direct strike of Russian troops at the maternity hospital. People, children are under the wreckage. Atrocity!


"How much longer will the world be an accomplice ignoring terror? Close the sky right now! Stop the killings! You have power but you seem to be losing humanity."

"Europeans, you can't say you didn't see what is happening. You have to tighten the sanctions until Russia can't continue their savage war," Zelensky said.


"What kind of country bombs hospitals? Is afraid of hospitals? Of a maternity ward?"


At the time, Boris Johnson slammed the "depraved" airstrike in Mariupol which targeted "vulnerable and defenceless" mums and babies.


"There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless," the PM said.


Harrowing pictures showed corpses being put in body bags and dumped in mass graves following shelling of the Mariupol.


Workers could be seen digging a 25 yard trench at one of the old cemeteries in the besieged port city, making the sign of the cross as they push the dead bodies into the pit.


The corpses were wrapped in carpets or bags.


"The UK is exploring more support for Ukraine to defend against airstrikes and we will hold Putin to account for his terrible crimes."


He said: "Russia continues holding hostage over 400,000 people in Mariupol, blocks humanitarian aid and evacuation.


Indiscriminate shelling continues.


"Almost 3,000 newborn babies lack medicine and food."








Credit: Read more from thesun.co.uk



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