Although it was only one missile, it caused damage to four buildings.
Bashtanka hospital was struck on Tuesday evening: major surgery was underway and a woman was giving her birth.
Children were moved from the paediatric center that was destroyed to a safer location. It is sad to note that the medical personnel of Ukraine know that their buildings are being bombed. According to Ukrainian officials, over 320 hospitals were bombed in the conflict.
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Alla Barsihian (head of Bashtanka Hospital) gave us a tour of the remaining parts. Every window in every ward was broken, the internal doors were moved and medical kit was destroyed. The hospital that served 140,000 people was now empty and dysfunctional. Patients needed to be relocated.
Dr Barsihian stated that at the beginning of the war, just like in other hospitals in the area, there was a red Cross painted in white canvas. You can see it very clearly and we hoped it would save us. It turns out that there is nothing sacred about this war.
She added, “We feel, as well as I feel, in danger here.”
“This is frightening and dangerous, but we work hard and will continue to do so.”
Russia changed the name of the invasion to “Operation to defend Donbas”. It’s difficult to comprehend why a hospital 300 miles from the area should be bombed if this is the goal.
Russia fears that Ukraine will ‘conscript’ Ukrainian men
It is clear that Vladimir Putin has other intentions than the continued shelling of Mykolaiv. The West’s southern coast areas are more in line with the Soviet-era ambitions to regain former Soviet territory. Mykolaiv was a shipbuilding center and Odesa was the USSR’s largest trading port. The Kremlin’s four-point plan today, which declared an intention to take control of southern Ukraine, contains this implicit but not explicit.
Families are fleeing Russian-occupied Kherson right now. The Kremlin threatens a referendum to make this coast Ukraine province an independent republic.
Vasiliy, Ludmila and their children, Ludmila, didn’t want their surnames to be revealed, fled Kherson. They claimed that adults without children are being prevented from leaving.
Ludmila stated: “People are saying Russians will conscript those men who are left.”
Vasiliy said, “They want to make militias like in Donetsk or Luhansk. They want it to happen so that our countrymen can fight for their cause and the Ukrainian army.
This would be a dark twist. Bashtanka has so far held back the Russian advance, but the high street is full of shops that have been set on fire. Two pharmacies and one beauty salon were destroyed beyond recognition. The town’s people are also scarred from war.
Valentina Donchenko (69) said that she hates Russia and her family.
She stated that all of her relatives were in Russia. They are all people I have hated since I was 28 years old. It’s not worth talking to them. They don’t understand it. My cousin even says I’m her enemy. I am a Nazi. It’s so deep that it can’t fit in my chest.
But life continues. Nadia Rospopova, a Yavinko villager, cannot survive without selling her farm produce on a shrinking market. We see her selling eggs from her car boot on the side of the road.
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She said, “We are being bombarded from all directions.”
“We came to this country just to make some money. We have cattle at our home and we take them out of the house under fire. Our house was twice hit. The roof is gone and all windows have been broken. Everything is broken.
“We have cattle so we haven’t evacuated. The Russians are very close. They are only 30 km from us. They are constantly shelling.”
It was once a normal town with a corner shop, two pharmacies, and beauty salon. But, even Bashtanka’s flame-blackened high street doesn’t show how awful this war has become.