Russia will allow some civilians to leave Mariupol, Ukraine – BBC News

welcome to the programme ukraine says it's reached an agreement with russia to allow some civilians to leave the devastated port of mariupol the ukrainian deputy prime minister says the plan involves a humanitarian corridor for women children and the elderly there's been no word yet from the kremlin much of madhupal has been leveled by relentless russian bombardment a deadline set by russia for the remaining ukrainian fighters in madupo to surrender has passed elsewhere there are reports of thousands trapped in the city of izum known as the gateway to the black sea from la viv in western ukraine our correspondent dan johnson sent us this report this massive steel works is still the last stand of ukraine's resistance in paul russian forces have repeatedly tried to storm it and they've laid down another deadline to surrender ukrainian soldiers are holding out but they're getting desperate this is our appeal to the world this could be the last appeal of our lives we are probably facing our last days if not ours the enemy is outnumbering us ten to one they have advantage in the air in artillery in their forces on land in equipment there's a new agreement to get more residents out of the bombarded city but previous attempts have been only partly successful around a hundred thousand are still trapped last night russia says it hit more than a thousand military targets across the country ukrainian defenses have been successful in stopping some attacks but the president again appealed for more weapons it is unfair that ukraine is still forced to ask for what its partners have been storing for years if they have the weapons ukraine needs if they have the ammunition we need it is their moral duty to help protect freedom international support is helping the wars refugees as well these are temporary homes brought to leve from poland aliona showed me where she and baby yaroslav now sleep after they left their town near nepro she's one of the people of ukraine's east who've grown weary of constant conflict in 2014 we thought the war would last a week then it lasted a month then a year and now it's been going for eight years we tried to live through the 2014 war like normal people trying to get by trying not to think about it but now war has come after us again this is a sign that accommodation here has now started to run short and while this is a good short-term option the question is how long can families live like this and as the fighting moves further west the likelihood is this will be a reality for even more people the ukrainians released these pictures of their front lines to show they're digging in and ready to fight although some ground has been lost to the russians in the east they have had some early success in holding back this new offensive in the battle for don bass dan johnson bbc news la viv well dr samir atta is a syrian american doctor who has just returned from treating patients in kiev and kharkiv he previously provided medical assistance in aleppo during the war in syria also treating victims of russian ordnance he joins us now from his home in chicago doctor thank you so much for joining us here on the program we often since this conflict began in the last seven weeks have been seeing comparisons to grozny but comparisons also to syria where you work you've just come back from kiev and also from doing some work in kharkiv just tell us what you saw and who you treated uh yeah i spent two weeks in the kiev hospital and one week in kharkiv and uh mainly i was treating civilians and the brunt of it was just war wounds so um a lot of amputations a lot of a lot of broken bones and you know just the graphic horrible injuries you'd see in any war so disfigured faces uh disemboweled bellies just sights you hope nobody ever really has to see and these are things that you saw in syria as well yeah they're the same exact war wounds ballistic injuries uh high-energy explosives they all affect the human body the same and you have to treat them the same way and i suppose many people have been talking about russian tactics the the the targeting of densely populated areas uh places where civilians mostly uh live is that the kind of thing that you're seeing as well especially in kharkiv when we were seeing a lot of the residential areas being targeted that's what it seemed to me i mean the day before i arrived a market was hit 100 meters from the hospital and it injured 15 people the hospital was overwhelmed with multiple wounded one of their nurses was killed in the attack along with her two-year-old grandson and then the day i left um the hospital was hit too and blew out a bunch of windows and everyone was okay but obviously that's still a very hostile threatening environment and it's the same i guess the same sort of tactics i saw in syria it's the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas and civilian infrastructures um with the intent to terrorize with the intent to take away hope and cause as much damage as possible yeah and again if we're looking at comparisons uh with syria i i mean in a lot of ways medical facilities were targeted there as well um hospitals were were struck um and places where people were being treated uh for their war wounds yeah and i i got to syria my first mission was a couple years after the war started so by that point the infrastructure was cut the medical infrastructure was demolished we were doing operations in a basement with not much anesthesia not much equipment um at least here the war is only here been about two months and um the infrastructure is still intact uh but the fear and the anxiety and the uncertainty it's still there i mean when you're in a hospital and you're operating and the hospital is shaking from bombs and the windows are getting blown out and and your colleagues are dying and you're hearing stories of other people from other cities where you know that are sieged and cut off from water and electricity that threat that threat is real and it's always there hovering over um as you work yeah and and in the back of your mind i suppose because as a doctor you go there to do your job to save lives to treat patients to see some of the most horrific things but at the same time your own safety is something that that you have to constantly be thinking about as well because just because you're in a hospital doesn't mean you're safe yeah and you bear witness to that you bear witness to that fear and that and that horror and that gravity and that uncertainty but also um the best part about any hospital whether you're in a basement in aleppo or and a hospital in kiev or kharkiv it's not it's not the shape of the building or the equipment it's really the people you're with in the sense of community and sense of spirit and that that's what got me through syria as the syrian doctors and nurses who i worked with and it's the same sort of courage and compassion and mentality and resilience that i saw um amongst ukrainian doctors and nurses and even the janitors everyone lives in the hospital they all live as a family in a community they eat together they live they live in their offices because it's too dangerous to go home or their homes have been destroyed or they're occupied by the russians and so that's that's what gets you through that is is the sense of of a family in a community yeah indeed and i suppose that the kind of injuries you were seeing and i know that you're not a bombs expert but there are a lot of accusations of cluster bombs being used on civilian populations i mean were you seeing very similar things uh in kharkiv as you were in in syria and places like aleppo i was i mean the wounds looked the same to me just traumatic amputations where um arms and legs get separated from the body you'd see um i remember a veterinarian that was just pock marked with um shrapnel and munitions from from head to toe uh and uh a 20 year old girl missing her right leg and uh her left leg was broken and again same pattern she's just pockmarked with shrapnel and uh she's just stuck in a hospital because more surgery is never one and done when you have when you have that amount of explosive ammunitions coming at you it's not just one surgery it requires multiple surgeries to get a wound clean and then closed and it's the same sort of stuff i was seeing um in aleppo and and how much more difficult does your job become because it's not just about a normal surgery you're dealing with extreme extreme trauma yeah there's the psychological aspect to it as well i mean you bear witness to um a measurable suffering and you're working in a hostile environment often with limited resources and yeah you fear for your safety but you more importantly you fear for the safety of your patients and you'd hear air sirens you'd hear explosives and shelling going on outside and there are patients stuck on the third and fourth floor with amputated limbs broken bones and they can't run down to um the basement bunker so the attitude there was if their patients are stuck a lot of the doctors when the air raids sirened uh they just kept working they carried on because um they were just gonna stick it out with their patients if their patients were stuck they're gonna stick it out with them and again it comes back to that solidarity and sense of community but yeah you're always worried you may find yourself on the you know being treated as a patient working in those hospitals because you're there to help but you also feel like a target some days doctor samir atta thank you so much uh for uh joining us here on the program and and thank you for all of the work that you do thank you very much

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