(MARIUPOL, Ukraine) — A wounded pregnant woman who was taken on a stretcher from a maternity hospital that was bombed by Russia last week has died, along with her baby, The Associated Press has learned.
The images of this woman, which the AP was unable to identify, have been seen all over the globe, illustrating the horrors of an attack against civilians.
She was among at least three women who were pregnant when AP tracked her down from Mariupol’s maternity hospital, which was bombed on Wednesday. They were reunited with their daughters and the two other survivors.
Video and photos taken by AP journalists following the attack on the hospital show the injured woman stroking her lower abdomen. Emergency workers then carried her through the rubble. Her shocked expression was captured in her pale face.
It was among the most brutal moments so far in Russia’s now 19-day-old war in Ukraine.
Doctors tried to save the woman by taking her to another hospital that was closer to the frontline. Realizing she was losing her baby, medics said, she had cried out to them, “Kill me now!”
Dr. Timur Marin said Saturday that the woman’s pelvis had been crushed and her hip detached. Her baby was delivered via cesarean section but showed “no signs of life,” he said.
They tried to save the woman, and “more than 30 minutes of resuscitation of the mother didn’t produce results,” Marin said. “Both died.”
After the attack, the medical staff failed to identify her. Her husband and father then took her body. Doctors said they were grateful that she didn’t end up in the mass graves being dug for many of Mariupol’s dead.
Russian officials have been accused of attacking civilians. Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. and the Russian Embassy in London falsely described the AP images as fakes.
Journalists from the Associated Press, who had been covering the conflict inside Mariupol’s blockade since the beginning of the war, witnessed the attacks and the damage. The journalists took photos and video of pregnant mothers running from the burnt-out maternity unit as doctors shouted and kids cried.
After being transferred to another hospital near Mariupol, the AP team was able to track down some victims. For more than one week, the port city at the Sea of Azov was without heat, food or power. Operation rooms are the only ones that have access to electricity generated by emergency generators.
After survivors recounted their experience, blasts rattled the walls, making medical personnel wretched. Although shooting and shelling are sporadic, they continue to be a constant occurrence in this area. Elmotions were high even though nurses and doctors were focused on what they did.
Mariana Vishegirskaya was also pregnant and gave birth on Thursday to a baby girl. Veronika, her newborn girl, was wrapped around her mother’s arm as she relayed her story to the AP.
Russian officials made false claims that the Russian actress was an actor in a staged attack, after AP video and photos showed her navigating up debris-strewn steps in her polkadot pajamas.
“It happened on March 9 in Hospital No. 3. in Mariupol. We were lying in wards when glass, frames, windows and walls flew apart,” said Vishegirskaya, who has blogged on social media about fashion and beauty.
“We don’t know how it happened. We were in our wards and some had time to cover themselves, some didn’t,” she said.
Her ordeal was one among many in the city of 430,000 people, which has become a symbol of resistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Russian forces are expanding their attack in Ukraine due to the failure to seize Mariupol. It is crucial to create a bridge between the Russian frontier and the Crimean Peninsula. Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Each new baby brings new tension to the mariupol’s temporary maternity ward.
“All birthing mothers have lived through so much,” said nurse Olga Vereshagina.
The bombing also caused some toe damage in a third pregnant lady, which was reported by AP. Medical workers then performed a Caesarean section for her on Friday.
To stimulate signs of life, the baby was vigorously rubbed. The baby started to wilt after a few anxious moments.
Cheers echoed throughout the room as the boy’s cries reverberated through the space. The medical staff also helped her mother, who cried.