The lives of the brother and sister of Polina, the Harry Potter mad Ukrainian 10-year-old girl shot dead by the Russians with their parents, still hang in the balance today as a little girl blown up with five others when a missile hit a kindergarten was also named.
Polina was among three members of the same family murdered in their car by one of Putin’s sabotage and reconnaissance units operating in the capital on Saturday.
Anton Kudrin, and wife Svetlana Zapadynskaya and their middle daughter died in a hail of bullets, their eldest daughter Sofia and youngest son Semyon are wounded and in a critical condition in hospital, unaware their family has been killed.
A poignant picture of a relative, head bowed, while clutching Semyon’s hand as he lies stricken on a ventilator epitomises how Putin’s war is targeting civilians and continues to take a terrible toll on Ukraine‘s youngest and most vulnerable. 16 children have died and 45 wounded since last Thursday, with the death toll expected to rise later today.
Ukraine war: The latest
- Russian army tells citizens in Kyiv they can ‘freely leave’ as it hints of attacks on civilian areas
- Russian forces shell Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, killing at least 11 civilians in residential areas
- Russian forces reach the southern city of Kherson near Moscow-controlled Crimea
- Kyiv says 352 civilians have been killed, including 14 children, since the invasion began last Thursday
- Nearly 520,000 people have fled Ukraine in the last five days, the UN’s refugee agency says,
- International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan says he is investigating the ‘situation in Ukraine’, saying there is a ‘reasonable basis’ to believe ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed’
- Turkey blocks warships from the Bosphorus and Dardanelles strait, limiting the movement of Russian and other naval assets by invoking a 1936 treaty
- Negotiators from Ukraine and Russia end a first round of talks with no breakthrough. Both sides agree to conduct a second round ‘soon’
- In a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin demands ‘demilitarisation and denazification’ of Ukraine
- Head of UN’s atomic watchdog ‘gravely concern’ that invading Russian troops are operating close to Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine’s largest nuclear power station
- Twitter and Facebook move to curb the online presence of Russian state-linked news outlets
- Russia is expelled from the 2022 World Cup and its teams suspended from all international football competitions ‘until further notice’
- International Olympic Committee urges sports federations to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes
- US moves to expel 12 members of Russia’s UN mission from America for being ‘intelligence operatives’
- US and Canada ban all transactions with Russia’s central bank in an unprecedented sanction. EU adds more Putin allies to its sanctions blacklist
- Putin orders emergency capital controls and forces exporters to buy rubles to prop up his currency, which plunges by a fifth, reaching record lows.
- Lawmakers in traditionally non-aligned Finland – which has a long border with Russia – are to debate NATO membership
- Disney and Sony Pictures stop the release of their films in Russian cinemas because of its invasion of Ukraine
The brutal treatment suffered at the hands of the Russians by Ukraine’s children has appalled the world as it was also revealed that one child with gunshot wounds died on the way to hospital after his ambulance came under fire from the invaders.
Yesterday images charting the senseless death of the so-called girl in the pink unicorn pyjamas shocked the world. Surrounded by doctors and nurses, the girl of six lay fatally wounded on a paramedic’s trolley being held by her bloodsoaked father – one of the youngest victims of Putin’s murderous onslaught on her country.
A picture of the smiling pink-haired schoolgirl Polina was shared by Vladimir Bondarenko, the deputy mayor of Kyiv yesterday. Mr Bondarenko said: ‘Her name was Polina. She studied in the 4th grade of school in Kyiv. Her and her parents were shot by Russian DRG.’ The 10-year-old loved the Harry Potter books and was in her final year at primary school when she was murdered.
Seven-year-old Alisa Hlans was one of six people who died when her kindergarten was hit on Friday, the second day of the Russian invasion. Pictures of the aftermath of the attack showed bodies strewn around the entrance as the staff tried to flee with the children.
At least one child hiding at the nursery was wounded in the attack.
Prosecutor general Irina Venediktova said Alisa, who was three months away from her eighth birthday, died in hospital on Saturday after the attack in the small town of Okhtyrka, an hour’s drive from Ukraine’s north-east border.
The Russian military were accused of using cluster bombs in the attack, with the shattered kindergarten showing signs of multiple explosions from a single bomb. The Kremlin has denied the claims.
A six-year-old girl called Sofia Fedko and her brother Ivan, who was only a few weeks old, died when five members of the same family came under fire near the southern city of Kherson. The children’s mother Irina and two grandparents, aged 56, also died on the first day of the conflict.
An unnamed boy was killed on the second day of fighting in the small town of Chuhuiv in eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, after a shell struck apartments.
While one local doctor told Sky News that a boy of ten died of gunshot wounds on his way to Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv on Friday night. Dr Andrey Vysotskyi said the boy was ‘in the ambulance and also the ambulance was under gunfire’.
Children not killed or injured are among the 500,000-plus people trying to flee Ukraine for the West – many have been forced to say goodbye to their fathers, who are staying behind to fight.
Putin’s disgraceful war waged on the people of Ukraine was laid bare in heart-wrenching pictures capturing the death of an innocent six-year-old – dubbed the girl in the pink unicorn pyjamas – one of 16 children now killed in the conflict.
The upsetting pictures charted the fight to save the unnamed little girl who was fatally injured when the Russians shelled her Mariupol apartment block on Sunday – and epitomised the terrible toll war is having on civilians, especially children.
During the rescue attempt, a doctor in blue medical scrubs, pumping oxygen into the girl, turned to the AP photographer and said: ‘Show this to Putin: The eyes of this child, and crying doctors.’
Polina’s younger brother Semyon Kudrin is supported by a loved one as he lies on a ventilator after being wounded by the Russians in an attack that claimed the lives of his sister and parents. His eldest sibling Sofia also hangs in the balance
Pink-haired Polina, ten, was shot and killed by the Russians while in a car with her parents in Kyiv. The Harry Potter fan was due to finish primary school this year
Seven-year-old Alisa Hlans was one of six people who died when her kindergarten was hit on Friday, the second day of the Russian invasion. Pictures of the aftermath of the attack showed bodies strewn around the entrance as the staff tried to flee with the children in Okhtyrka in Eastern Ukraine. The circles suggest multiple impacts, likely to be from a cluster bomb
Father Anton Kudrin, and wife Svetlana Zapadynskaya and their middle daughter Polina died, their eldest daughter Sofia (at the back) and youngest son Semyon (right) were badly wounded
A woman, who could be the child’s mother, reacts as paramedics perform CPR on the girl who was fatally injured during shelling in Mariupol yesterday. She clutches her blood-soaked hand to her mouth while clutching the child’s belongings with the other including shoes and a scarf
The child lies dead and alone in the city’s hospital after Russian attacks claimed her life in a picture that has shocked the world. 16 children have died in Ukraine since Thursday, 45 are wounded
The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL
Readers of Mail Newspapers have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.
Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.
For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.
As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.
All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.
In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.
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Clutching her blood-covered hand to her mouth and carrying the child’s slippers, pompom scarf and bobble hat, one woman, who could be her mother, was photographed as attempts were made to resuscitate the six-year-old in the back of an ambulance after the artillery strike.
The next picture, too graphic to be published, shows the girl’s father holding his lifeless child’s hand as the paramedic performs CPR on her tiny body. He is sobbing while covered in what appears to be her blood.
A team of doctors then tenderly carries the child, who is still wearing her red-stained unicorn pyjamas, into the hospital in the coastal city. Her bedclothes are then cut away so a team of seven doctors work on her body, which is still being gripped by her praying father.
The final image shows the child alone on a gurney in an empty ward, having been declared dead in a war that had by Sunday claimed civilian victims of at least 210, including more than a dozen children.
More than 500,000 refugees, mainly women and children, are fleeing Ukraine for the West, with some children separated or even orphaned since the invasion began. Queues of up to 25 miles are reported at the border with Poland and Romania.
It came as Mail readers donated an extraordinary £268,000 on the first day of our Ukraine Appeal. The newspaper’s owner also pledged £500,000 – sending the first day’s monumental total soaring past £750,000 to be given to reputable charities that are already on the ground doling out hot food, blankets and vital shelter to stricken families.
The gut-wrenching picture of the six-year-old child’s pale and lifeless body could become the defining images of the conflict in the same way the photo of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, washed up drowned on a Turkish beach 2015, horrified the world and laid bare the plight of refugees fleeing the wartorn country.
Her death, and of other children, exposes Putin’s filthy lie that he is not waging war on the Ukrainian people amid calls for him to be treated as a war criminal for his bombing of civilians. Several nurseries and kindergartens have also been hit.
President Zelensky said in a TV address yesterday that 16 Ukrainian children have been killed and 45 wounded in the four days since the invasion began.
Little boy Mark Goncharuk was filmed fleeing with others in a van toward the Ukrainian border, fighting the tears as he spoke about how his father stayed behind to help support the fight against the Russians.
As tears poured down his face he said: ‘We left our Dad in Kyiv. He is helping our heroes, our army, and may even fight himself’. The family were picked up by a team from the Reuters press agency. Mark said: ‘We were walking for three hours and planned to walk for three days. You saved us’.
Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces put on high alert on Sunday, while Ukraine’s embattled leader agreed to talks with Moscow as Putin’s forces drove deeper into the country.
Putin cited ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO in issuing a directive to increase the readiness of his country’s nuclear weapons – a step that raised fears that the invasion of Ukraine could boil over into nuclear war, whether by design or mistake.
The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This is the kindergarten blown up by the Russians killing six in happier times before it was hit with a warhead
A Ukrainian father says a tearful goodbye to his son as he boards a train with his mother and sister as men stay behind in Kyiv and other cities to fight the Russians
Gravely ill children, including several diagnosed with cancer, are now receiving treatment on the basement floor of the shelter of Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital
A Ukrainian child sobs alone in a railways station as Europe faces a fresh refugee crisis as millions are potentially displaced by war
Children cling to the windows of coaches or cry as they are separated from families and taken away from the front line
A woman and a child wait for a call to cross the Polish passport control after arriving in a train from Kyiv at the Przemysl main train station
A member of the Slovak Armed Forces carries a child fleeing from Ukraine who arrived in Slovakia with her family, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine
But the Kremlin’s ultimate aims in Ukraine – and what steps might be enough to satisfy Moscow – remained unclear.
The fast-moving developments came as scattered fighting was reported in Kyiv, battles broke out in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and strategic ports in the country’s south came under assault from Russian forces.
With Russian troops closing in around Kyiv, a city of almost 3million, the mayor of the capital expressed doubt civilians could be evacuated.
Across the country, Ukrainian defenders were putting up stiff resistance that appeared to slow Russia’s advance.
Meanwhile, the top official in the European Union outlined plans by the 27-nation bloc to close its airspace to Russian airlines and fund the purchase of weapons for Ukraine.
‘For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,’ said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The EU will also ban some pro-Kremlin media outlets, she said.
Also, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly scheduled an emergency session Monday on Russia’s invasion.
Putin, in giving the nuclear alert directive, cited not only statements by NATO members – who have rushed to reinforce the military alliance’s members in Eastern Europe – but the hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself. He told his military chiefs to put nuclear forces in a ‘special regime of combat duty.’
‘Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,’ Putin said in televised comments.
Polina, believed to be around ten or 11, killed while trying to escape the capital in a car with her family. She was shot dead by the Russians with her parents, according to the BBC
A child collects toys near a clothes donating point as refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine arrive at the Medyka border crossing in Poland
A pregnant woman and her children sit on a bench in the improvised bomb shelter in a sports center, which can accommodate up to 2000 people, in Mariupol, Ukraine
A woman carries a child as they board a bus after fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania
An Ukrainian child looks through the window of a car stuck in traffic, as her family drives towards the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing between Ukraine and Poland while fleeing the conflict in their country, near the Ukrainian village of Tvirzha, some 20km from the border
Refugee children open sweets received from volunteers after fleeing the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania
A woman reacts as she embraces a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, as Polish Border Guards close lanes for vehicles to allow more pedestrian traffic
A member of the Polish Border Guard holds a child at a border crossing between Poland and Ukrain
A woman clutches her hand to her mouth in a shelter in Mariupol – as Russian troops squeeze strategic ports in the country’s south
People take shelter inside a building in Mariupol yesterday as children run and crawl underground as the Russians batter the city above
A shattered residential building, which locals said was damaged by recent shelling, in Mariupol on Saturday
A woman and a girl walk to a shelter during Russian shelling outside Mariupol after the invasion on Thursday
A child sleeps on a broken chair as Putin’s forces try to take the southern port close to Crimea
Anna Zubenko, 60, who was wounded during a rocket attack, talks with her daughter in a hospital in Mariupol on Friday
A woman holds her sleeping child in a shelter during Russian shelling, in Mariupol on Thursday
U.S. defense officials would not disclose their current nuclear alert level except to say that the military is prepared all times to defend its homeland and allies.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC that Putin is resorting to the pattern he used in the weeks before the invasion, ‘which is to manufacture threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.’
The practical meaning of Putin’s order was not immediately clear. Russia and the United States typically have land- and submarine-based nuclear forces on alert and prepared for combat at all times, but nuclear-capable bombers and other aircraft are not.
If Putin is arming or otherwise raising the nuclear combat readiness of his bombers, or if he is ordering more ballistic missile submarines to sea, then the United States might feel compelled to respond in kind, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. That would mark a worrisome escalation, he said.
Earlier Sunday, Kyiv was eerily quiet after huge explosions lit up the morning sky and authorities reported blasts at one of the airports. A main boulevard was practically deserted as a strict 39-hour curfew kept people off the streets. Authorities warned that anyone venturing out without a pass would be considered a Russian saboteur.
Terrified residents hunkered down in homes, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian assault. Supplies of food and medicine were running low, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
Authorities have been handing out weapons to anyone willing to defend the city. Ukraine is also releasing prisoners with military experience who want to fight, and training people to make firebombs.
‘Right now, the most important question is to defend our country,’ Klitschko said.
In downtown Kharkiv, 86-year-old Olena Dudnik said she and her husband were nearly thrown from their bed by the pressure blast of a nearby explosion.
‘Every day there are street fights, even downtown,’ with Ukrainian fighters trying to stop Russian tanks, armored vehicles and missile launchers, Dudnik said by phone. She said the lines at drugstores were hours long.
‘We are suffering immensely,’ she said. ‘We don’t have much food in the pantry, and I worry the stores aren’t going to have anything either, if they reopen.’ She added: ‘I just want the shooting to stop, people to stop being killed.’
Pentagon officials said that Russian troops are being slowed by Ukrainian resistance, fuel shortages and other logistical problems, and that Ukraine’s air defense systems, while weakened, are still operating.
But a senior U.S. defense official said that will probably change: ‘We are in day four. The Russians will learn and adapt.’
A man helps a firefighter to extinguish a burning barn following Russian shelling outside outside Mariupol last week
Despite the barrage the sane Ukrainian then tried to re install a broken fence at his home
This man carried a dog away from his shattered property in the besieged city of Mariupol on Thursday
Smoke rise from an air defence base in the aftermath of a Russian strike in Mariupol
Damaged radar, a vehicle and equipment are seen at a Ukrainian military facility outside Mariupol on Thursday
Putin hasn’t disclosed his ultimate plans, but Western officials believe he is determined to overthrow Ukraine’s government and replace it with a regime of his own, reviving Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.
The number of casualties from Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II remained unclear amid the fog of war.
Ukraine’s health minister reported Saturday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than 1,000 others wounded. It was not clear whether those figures included both military and civilian casualties.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov gave no figures on Russia’s dead and wounded Sunday but said his country’s losses were ‘many times’ lower than Ukraine’s.
The U.N. refugee agency said Sunday that about 368,000 Ukrainians have arrived in neighboring countries since the invasion started Thursday.
Over the weekend, the U.S. pledged an additional $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons and body armor. Germany said it would send missiles and anti-tank weapons.
The U.S., European Union and Britain also agreed to block selected Russian banks from the SWIFT system, which moves money around thousands of banks and other financial institutions worldwide. They also moved to slap restrictions on Russia’s central bank.
Russia’s economy has taken a pounding since the invasion, with the ruble plunging, the central bank calling for calm to avoid bank runs, and long lines forming at ATMs.
Putin sent forces into Ukraine after massing almost 200,000 troops along the country’s borders. He claims the West has failed to take seriously Russia’s security concerns about NATO, the Western military alliance that Ukraine aspires to join. But he has also expressed scorn about Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state.
Russia claims its assault on Ukraine is aimed only at military targets, but bridges, schools and residential neighborhoods have been hit.