A pregnant woman and her baby have died after Russia bombed the maternity hospital where she was meant to give birth, the Associated Press reports. Images of the woman being rushed to an ambulance on a stretcher seen around the world epitomize the horror of an attack on humanity’s most innocent.
In video and photos shot Wednesday by AP journalists after the attack on the hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol, the woman was seen stroking her bloodied lower abdomen as rescuers rushed her through the rubble, her blanched face mirroring her shock at what had just happened. It was among the most brutal moments so far in Russia’s now 19-day-old war on Ukraine.
The woman was rushed to another hospital, yet 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!”
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.
Then, they focused on the mother.
“More than 30 minutes of resuscitation of the mother didn’t produce results,” Marin said Saturday.
The Red Cross is warning of a “worst-case scenario” for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol unless the parties agree to ensure their safety and access to humanitarian aid.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, said in a statement said Sunday that residents of Mariupol “have endured a weeks-long life-and-death nightmare,” the Associated Press reports.
The Geneva, Switzerland-based humanitarian agency said hundreds of thousands of people in the city are “facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine.”
The ICRC also added that “Dead bodies, of civilians and combatants, remain trapped under the rubble or lying in the open where they fell. Life-changing injuries and chronic, debilitating conditions cannot be treated.
“The human suffering is simply immense.”
The ICRC called on the parties to agree on the terms of a cease-fire, routes for safe passage, and to ensure the deal is respected. It offered to act as a neutral intermediary in negotiations.
“Time is running out for the hundreds of thousands trapped by the fighting,” the organization said. “History will look back at what is now happening in Mariupol with horror if no agreement is reached by the sides as quickly as possible.”
Earlier Sunday, Mariupol’s city administration said in a Telegram post a large convoy of humanitarian aid destined for the besieged city had not arrived and was still stuck in Berdyansk, about 50 miles to the west, stranding about 400,000 people waiting for help, CNN reports.
Mariupol was subjected to “shelling and aerial bombardment all day long,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Sunday, the cable network added.
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Zelenskyy said daily talks with Russia continue, wants Putin at the table
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he will continue negotiating with Russia and is waiting for a meeting with its leader, Vladimir Putin despite repeated escalated attacks by Russia in Ukraine.
So far, Zelenskyy’s requests have gone unanswered by the Kremlin. During his nightly address to his nation, Zelenskyy said Sunday that his delegation has a “clear task” to do everything to ensure a meeting between the two presidents, the Associated Press reports.
Zelenskyy said there are daily discussions between the two countries via video conference. He said the talks are necessary to establish a cease-fire and more humanitarian corridors. He said those corridors have saved more than 130,000 people in six days.
The humanitarian convoy to the besieged city of Mariupol was blocked Sunday by Russian forces. Zelenskyy said they would try again Monday.
Dmitry Peskov, Russia’s negotiator and President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, confirmed the daily talks, the BBC reports.
In a video posted on social media and in a subsequent tweet, Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s negotiator and a Zelenskyy adviser, said Russia was beginning to engage constructively.
“Russia now much more adequately perceives the world around it,” Podolyak said. “It is much more sensitive to the position of Ukraine, which has been proven in battlefields, and in Ukraine’s actions in terms of protecting its interests.”
► White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday. China has called for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine but has rejected sanctions against Russia.
► Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to create “pseudo-republics” to break his country apart. He urged Ukraine’s regions not to follow the path of two eastern areas – Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic – where pro-Russian separatists clashed with Ukrainian forces in 2014.
► Almost 2.7 million Ukrainians have fled the country, the U.N. refugee agency said.
‘Russian TV channels’ will begin broadcasting soon, says new mayor of Russian-occupied Ukrainian city
The newly installed mayor in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city Melitopol said “Russian TV channels” would be broadcasting in the region soon.
Galina Danilchenko said in a televised video Sunday claimed there was “a great deficit of trustworthy information being circulated,” as the decision for the broadcasting, according to CNN.
Her televised address was later posted on social media by pro-Russian Telegram channels and by the Ukrainian-controlled Zaporozhye regional administration.
Danilchenko was installed as mayor after elected mayor Ivan Fedorov was detained by armed men on Friday. The prosecutor’s office for the Russian-backed separatist region of Luhansk later accused Fedorov of terrorism offenses.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for Federov’s immediate release, saying his “abduction” was a “crime against democracy.”
Russia asked China for economic and military aid for the war in Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin began his invasion last month, U.S. officials told The New York Times and the Washington Post.
China has called for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, but has rejected sanctions against Russia. The relationship between the two countries has grown over the past few decades, and both have opposed a further expansion of NATO.
The developments come as Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, is scheduled to meet on Monday with senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi in Rome.
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.
“We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world,” he added.
American photojournalist Brent Renaud was killed Sunday in Ukraine when Russian soldiers opened fire on a car in Irpin, a town 30 miles outside the capital of Kyiv.
A second American journalist, Juan Arredondo was rushed to a hospital with shrapnel wounds, police said.
Arredondo, 46, told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli in an interview from a hospital that the two men were filming refugees fleeing the area when their car rolled up to a checkpoint and the Russians began shooting. He said Renaud was shot in the neck.
Renaud, 50, and his brother Craig frequently collaborated on film and television projects. They covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti, political turmoil in Egypt and Libya, extremism in Africa, cartel violence in Mexico, and the youth refugee crisis in Central America, according to their website.
Renaud was working on a project in Ukraine focused on the global refugee crisis for TIME Studios, the company said in a statement Sunday afternoon.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News that the U.S. government would consult with Ukraine to determine what happened and would then “execute appropriate consequences.”