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‘They are so young’: Corpses pile up in Mykolaiv morgue

A man stands over corpses outside a morgue in Mykolaiv.

  • In a dilapidated morgue in the Ukrainian city of Myolakiv, doctors perform autopsies under questionable hygienic conditions.
  • Some bodies are difficult to identify.
  • Among the civilian victims, the youngest was a three-year-old child.

The body lies with the hands folded, as in prayer.

In fact, says the morgue employee, he threw Molotov cocktails when the Russians captured him. They tied his hands and executed him.

Such are the shocking images from the morgue in Mykolaiv, a town on the shores of the Black Sea, which has been under Russian attack for several days.

Outside, in the courtyard of the forensic institute where the morgue is located, the snow is constantly falling on corpses wrapped in gray plastic bags, waiting to be evacuated.

READ | Ukraine says it is launching counter-offensives against Russian forces

In the dilapidated building, corpses are placed on the floor due to lack of space. The creeping smell of death, mixed with disinfectant, is everywhere.

Doctors perform autopsies under questionable hygienic conditions. Naked corpses lie in the way of the cold store, where the deaths from a bombing raid a few days earlier in nearby Ochakiv have piled up.

Vladimir, a morgue employee who only gave up his first name, lights cigarette after cigarette.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. We thought the worst thing that could happen to us here was car accidents,” he says, shaking his head.

‘So young’

By crossing the courtyard again, Vladimir opens a door into a nightmarish spectacle.

About 30 corpses are placed on the ground. Two soldiers in fatigue, one without inner bodies, are stacked on top of each other. Civilians are also shown.

Vladimir says:

They are so young, younger than my nephew.

At the back of the room there is also a Russian soldier.

Two men carry a corpse in a corpse bag to lay it next to it

Two men carry a body in a body bag to lay it next to others in a snow-covered farm in Mykolaiv, a town on the shores of the Black Sea, which has been under Russian attack for several days on March 11, 2022. Mykolaiv and its region have seen tough fights, but the Ukrainians are resisting and recaptured the local airport a few days ago. As the last major city before the large port city of Odessa, it is an important strategic position.

“We keep them separate.”

Mykolaiv and its region have experienced fierce fighting, but the Ukrainians resist and recapture the local airport a few days ago.

As the last capital city before the large port city of Odesa, it is an important strategic position.

“Since the beginning of the war, we have received 120 corpses, including 80 soldiers and 30 civilians,” said Olga Dierugina, director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, wearing a woolen vest over her doctor’s coat and a pom-pom hat on her head to keep the cold away.

Among the civilian victims, the youngest was a three-year-old child and the oldest in the seventies, she adds with an exhausted look.

Identification

Some corpses are difficult to identify, especially among the 19 who arrived from Ochakiv two days ago. DNA samples are taken, experts note tattoos and jewelry.

The bodies of the soldiers are sent back to their region of origin. “They are all very young, born in 1990, in 2000,” says Dierugina.

There is silence when she is asked how she is feeling. Then her face suddenly drops: “Fear. We all have children.”

She does not try to break down and wipes the tears away.

She adds:

Here in Mykolaiv it is still fine, but my parents are in Chernihiv [in the north]they can not evacuate.

Fifteen of her colleagues have fled to the West, but there are still about 60 employees working at the forensic hospital, 20 of them in the morgue.

“I can never thank them enough,” Dierugina says.

The situation is still under control in Mykolaiv, she adds, but “we are heading for a humanitarian catastrophe if this continues”.

Outside the morgue, several families are waiting in silence under the falling snow.


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‘They are so young’: Corpses pile up in Mykolaiv morgue

Source link ‘They are so young’: Corpses pile up in Mykolaiv morgue

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