‘He is a child of war’: Born in chaos in Ukraine

Dr Yarushchuk said he had made video calls to help women giving birth in the basement of apartment buildings in the suburbs of Bucha, dozens of miles away, but at the time, had been cut off from the capital by the war.

“Our work has changed,” he said.

Dozens of bodies have been found around the city since Russian forces withdrew from Bucha last week – swollen, burnt bodies of civilians, including children. Some were shot in the head with their hands tied.

In Kiev, another complication is the curfew from 9pm to 6am, with pregnant women relying entirely on ambulances, which can operate at any time. Any travel in a private car, whatever the situation, carries the risk of an accidental shooting at a checkpoint by Ukrainian soldiers patrolling for Russian subversive groups after the curfew.

Yulia Sobchenko, 27, said she gave birth at midnight on March 20 and was taken to hospital by an ambulance. But she was delayed at the checkpoint by Ukrainian soldiers who, for fear of sabotage, insisted on opening the door of the ambulance that it was about to give birth to a woman.

Her baby was delivered at 2:55 a.m. and within two hours, she was admitted to the basement on an air strike alert.

“I was in my sleeping shirt and a cloth between my legs and shortly after giving birth, and my husband had to go to the basement with all our bags,” she said.

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