Videos of injured citizens and tanks rolling into Ukraine are making the horror of Russia’s invasion palpable even for people living thousands of miles away. But a video featuring some of the most defenseless Ukrainian citizens is among the most heartbreaking footage to come out of conflict so far. The clip highlights the depth of fear and helplessness among the population.
According to The Daily Mail, the video was captured by medical staff as they helped around one dozen newborn babies settle into what appears to be a storage closet inside a makeshift bomb shelter. Prior to being relocated, the newborns were patients at Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Children’s Clinical Hospital in Dnipro, which is located in Eastern Ukraine.
The city became a target of missile strikes shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring country began. Premature and other vulnerable babies were among those evacuated to the basement for safety during the bombing. The NICU, which stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is where premature or ill newborn babies go for extra care ranging from feeding tubes to ventilators, which help the babies stay alive.
Newborn infants from the neonatal intensive care unit at a children’s hospital in Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine, were moved into a makeshift bomb shelter on a lower level of the building on Thursday. https://t.co/l8RAcFMTud pic.twitter.com/kWud9ktt2P
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2022
Footage shows NICU nurses tending to the babies with several of them rocking and comforting the newborns, who are wrapped in colorful blankets and sleeping quietly. Medical staff members are seen on video helping use inflatable bags to deliver air, with some nurses even smiling amid the danger.
“This is the NICU. In a bomb shelter. Can you imagine?” Dr. Denis Surkov, chief of the neonatal unit wrote to the New York Times in a text message. “This is our reality.”
The babies were moved to the makeshift bomb shelter after bombing began Thursday morning as a necessary precaution.
“We were nervous, very confused,” Dr. Surkov continued.
Ukraine’s foreign minister criticized Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, calling it “beyond evil” that hospitals were among the targets of the strikes.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, “Consider this: Putin has launched a massive war of aggression in Europe during a still raging pandemic. On top of that, Russians bomb Ukrainian hospitals now. This is beyond evil. The only moral choice any government can make now is to support Ukraine by all means.”
The video of fragile newborns is only one of many tragic images to come out of the early days of the Russian invasion. Footage of a man saying goodbye to his daughter as she evacuated to safety moved many people to tears.
The video shows the father bending down to hug the little girl goodbye and straighten her winter hat before breaking down into sobs. The child also cries as the two embrace one last time before she boards a bus, which is likely headed to a safer location.
There’s also a shocking video that reportedly shows a military tank running over an occupied car in Kyiv as horrified citizens look on. The driver of the car miraculously survived the incident. Unfortunately, these video clips are unlikely to be the last harrowing footage that comes out of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.