Children and babies being treated at a children’s hospital in Kyiv have been taken to a basement for their safety as Russian troops attack the Ukrainian capital.
Staff from Okhmadet Children’s Hospital, which specialises in treating children with cancer, have said they want the world to know what is happening as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine.
Among the mothers at the hospital is Maryna, whose nine-year-old son suffers from a blood cancer that requires regular treatment.
“There are bombings, sirens, we have to go (downstairs),” she told Reuters news agency. “We also receive treatment here, medications we have, but we need more food… basic stuff.
“We need peace.”
On Saturday, three adults and three children were brought to the centre, also known as the Ukraine National Specialised Children’s Hospital, after getting caught up in a nearby attack.
The hospital’s press manager, Anastasia Maggeramova, said that a six-year-old boy was dead when he arrived.
She said: “We heard an attack and after that some people came in by emergency vehicle.
“Now a child is dead because of [the] massive attack.”
Maggeramova said hospital staff had heard the sound of fighting near the hospital over the past few days, though it had not yet reached the medical facility.
“Our doctors have tried to do their best to save them and to help [the victims],” she said.
“We want the world to know the truth: civilian people are under attack,” she said. “Children are suffering, people are suffering because of war, because of attacks, because of terrible things now happening here in Ukraine.”
Patients in intensive care at the hospital who cannot be moved have been placed in areas of the building that staff hope to be the safest.
The focus is also on the security of medical staff.
“We also must take care of personnel, because if they die or get injured, what do we do, who will treat patients?” asked Valery Bovkun, a microsurgeon at Ohmadyt.
Volodymyr Zhovnir, the hospital’s chief surgeon, said the hospital had stockpiled enough medications for a month, but added that it needed food for newborn babies.
“Of all things we need peace most… all of this is the tip an iceberg. People are, for example, asking me where to buy insulin for children, pharmacies are not open.”
The hospital normally treats six to seven children a day for common complaints such as appendicitis, but that number has dropped dramatically. “They could not have vanished, they simply cannot come here,” he said.
Read More From Yahoo News UK:
Ukraine forces stop Russia taking key airfield near Kyiv ‘they’d wanted since day one’
Vladimir Putin put Russia on nuclear alert ‘after comments by Liz Truss’
Couple overturn £35k fine for refusing to close gift card shop during COVID lockdown
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is impacting medical care across the country.
The World Health Organization said on Sunday that the nation is running low on oxygen supplies, calling for safe passage for emergency imports as combat rages.
“The oxygen supply situation is nearing a very dangerous point in Ukraine,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement.
Trucks are unable to transport oxygen supplies from plants to hospitals across the country, including the capital Kyiv.
On Monday morning the UK Ministry of Defence tweeted an intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, saying: “The bulk of Putin’s ground forces remain more than 30km to the north of Kyiv their advance having been slowed by Ukrainian forces defending Hostomel airfield, a key Russian objective for day one of the conflict.
“Heavy fighting continues around Chernihiv and Kharkiv however both cities remain under Ukrainian control.
“Logistical failures and staunch Ukrainian resistance continue to frustrate the Russian advance.
“Despite continued attempts to suppress details of the conflict from the Russian population, the Russian Armed Forces has for the first time been forced to acknowledge suffering casualties.”
Reports have suggested Vladimir Putin believed Ukraine would fall within 48 hours, but after facing fierce opposition from the Ukrainians, the conflict has entered day five.
UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said that the Russia invasion is now “behind schedule”, and left troops in “disarray.”
“They based all of this on this sort of bizarre assumption that the Ukrainians would welcome them as liberators, well president Putin has taken that assumption, and now that’s not the case that’s causing them to pause. It’s causing them logistical trouble,” he said.