Pregnant Woman Injured In Shelling Of Ukrainian Maternity Hospital Dies Along With Her Baby

KYIV -- A pregnant women who was injured last week in an air strike on a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has died along with her unborn child.

The woman was in the maternity ward of the hospital when Russian forces shelled it, and she was pictured in a widely distributed photograph being rushed to an ambulance on a stretcher holding her swollen belly.

Her death was confirmed by local surgeon Timur Marin, according to the Associated Press. It also was reported on Facebook by a journalist with Voice of America and the photographer who took the photo.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was taken to another hospital after the maternity hospital was shelled. Marin said that the explosion shattered her pelvis and tore off her thigh. Doctors performed a Caesarean section, but the child "showed no signs of life," he said. Doctors tried to resuscitate the mother but could not save her.

Another woman, Marianna Podhurska, who was also photographed during the shelling of the Mariupol maternity hospital, gave birth to a baby girl on March 10.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed on March 10 that the Russian military had launched an air strike on the hospital, saying it had “long been seized by the Azov Battalion and other radicals."


The Azov Battalion is a notorious militia that played a key role in defending Mariupol in the early days of the war in eastern Ukraine. It was kicked off of Facebook three years ago for its neo-Nazi rhetoric but was later formally incorporated into the official National Guard.

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A few hours after Lavrov's comment, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Russian Army did not strike the hospital.

Ukraine and Western countries strongly condemned the air strike on March 9, which killed three people, including one child, and injured about two dozen, according to the Mariupol City Council.

Fighting, shelling, and air strikes continued in Mariupol and in various regions of the country on March 14.

Local authorities in a district in northern Kyiv said an artillery shell hit a nine-story residential building, killing two people.

Ukrainian authorities reported that a rocket was shot down over Kyiv and its fragments fell in a residential area, killing more people on the ground.

Residential buildings were destroyed during an air strike in one of the villages of the Zhytomyr region. In Rovno, a Russian air strike disabled a TV tower.

Russian troops and detachments of Russian-backed forces in the Luhansk region are also carrying out operations.

Russian media and representatives of separatist entities in Donetsk blamed Ukrainian forces for a missile attack on the center of Donetsk.

Photos and videos of the alleged impact site have shown the bodies of people killed. Donetsk representatives claim about 20 civilians were killed, but there has been no independent confirmation of the figure.

The Ukrainian side has not yet commented on the shelling.

With reporting by AP and Reuters