One of the surgeons who leaves the operating room doesn’t make eye contact. One holds out his hands. One of them looks defeated. The father standing at the doorway grasps his forehead and, with tears welling up, turns away. A scream is about to escape his throat.
Serhii, a man identified only as Serhii enters the room to find his 16-year old son Iliya still in bed and covered by a blood-stained linen.
Serhii falls to the ground, hugging Iliya’s head and cries.
Iliya, a soccer player in Mariupol, was killed Wednesday during the Russian invasion. The explosion exploded near a Azov Sea school.
Mariupol was also rocked by shelling, which illuminated the darkened skies. On Thursday, heavy fighting continued on the city’s outskirts. The battle knocked out all phone services, causing darkness in the city and raising the possibility of food and water shortages.
Without phone lines, medics didn’t know where to go for the injured. Other crews drove around the city and found a wounded woman. They carried her down the stairs, then placed her on a stretcher. Her hand shaking fast, they transferred her to an ambulance.
Ukraine’s economy would be severely affected if it was denied access to the Black and Azov Seas. Russia would be able to construct a land corridor from Crimea to the Black Sea, which it took in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops have used their superior firepower over the last few days to attack cities and other locations around the country, making substantial gains in the south and launching hundreds upon thousands of missiles.
The Russians announced that they had captured Kherson in the south, a critical Black Sea port of 280,000. Local Ukrainian officials confirmed that the government headquarters was taken over. This makes it the first major city to fall since the invasion began just a week ago.