HS in Ukraine Mija was born in Kiev during the attack and her mother carried her to the bomb shelter – “Do Russian women want to give birth to wartime children in the basement too?” asks fresh mother Svetlana Mitskevich

Many babies were born prematurely on Thursday morning when stress started giving birth too early, lawyer Svetlana Mitskevich, who gave birth to the beautiful baby girl, tells HS.


Russian the attack on the Ukrainian capital Kiev began on Thursday morning at about two o’clock, and with the first explosions echoing behind the windows of the home Svetlana Mitskevytchille felt familiar contractions.

They told a 38-year-old lawyer that another child in the family was about to be born. But where to bring a child into the world when a full-scale attack had just begun?

“This is a new house with no proper bomb shelter as the buildings are made for times of peace. The best thing we came up with first was to protect ourselves in the car park of the housing association, ”he tells HS at home.

From the parking garage, he called the neighbors. Was there a doctor in the condominium?

“One surgeon evacuated from the Donbas area was found, but he knew nothing about the birth. She started learning from online video how a doctor works in childbirth. ”

It didn’t look very convincing as the contractions intensified. I had to choose the least scary of the bad solutions. Would she give birth in a parking garage? Or in the car on the way to the hospital? Or would you get to the hospital if you tried right away?

“We usually only have a ten minute drive to the hospital, but now there was an air alarm. At four in the morning, we decided to give it a try when the midwife said we were being expected at the hospital. ”

They arrived on time. Wonderful Mija-the daughter was born an hour after admission to the hospital at about five in the morning.

“I had my baby come into the world in proper hospital conditions and in proper care. But behind the window there were still the sounds of explosions. Fortunately, my husband Igor was involved and we held each other’s hand. ”

Newborn Mija got home with her family less than 24 hours after giving birth.

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Air alarms and the bombing continued. Soon Svetlana was asked to walk with her daughter seven floors down to the hospital’s bomb shelter because the elevator was not allowed to be used.

“I was full of adrenaline and my legs were carrying me. I got a bed in a bomb shelter because I had just given birth. Many others lay on the carpets. ”

He was not alone. Stress and distress triggered dozens of births – and many of them dangerously early.

“I cried when I saw premature babies whose heads were smaller than an apple and who were born only after about 30 weeks of pregnancy. So many wires and pipes were attached to the tiny bodies that night. ”

Svetlana was only two weeks old at the time Mija was born. She knew it was safe in terms of the number of weeks of pregnancy.

“I’m not heroic but those who kept dragging the bomb shelter down seven floors in a much worse condition. One woman and her husband carried the twins just born that way! And many stayed on the seventh floor because they just couldn’t move. ”

Of course, the births also took place in the exceptional circumstances of the bomb shelter. Due to an air alarm and explosions, there was often no return to the seventh floor maternity wards.

Situation was and is terrible in Kiev. But on the morning of Mija’s birth, Svetlana’s mother did not hear of any of the premature babies who died in childbirth.

“Doctors and nurses are heroes. They work incredibly well in creepy conditions. ”

In Ukraine it is customary for the newborn and mother to be kept in the hospital for about three days. Now it was not possible.

“New births flowed in and I cried when I saw them. Some of them, too, have to give birth to their children in a bomb shelter during an air alarm. We were happy to give our place to newcomers. Besides, our 8-year-old son had stayed home and needed us. ”

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So Svetlana, her husband working in the IT industry Igor as well as newborn Mija returned to the family home less than 24 hours after giving birth.

By then, the second night of the bombings had been experienced. And then the third Friday night to Saturday morning.

“On Friday night, we left the parking garage when the air alarm came at 8 p.m. We got to the apartment at times, but the next air alarm took our family to the parking garage for five hours. ”

About fatigue despite this, the family manages to receive HS kindly on Saturday in their beautiful home on the south side of town.

Svetlana glows with her mother’s happiness and Mija, who is a little over two days old, greedily sucks on breast milk even during the interview. The family’s father, Igor, smiles proudly and relieved at the bedroom door.

When the baby calms down after breastfeeding, the mother also reported a summary of what happened on the HS video in her native Ukrainian.

It’s her emotional language, and the message lifts a piece in her throat for both the fresh mom and the journalist and photographer.

Baby Mija takes a nap and her lawyer-mother Svetlana begins to articulate the situation in a way that would impress even in the courtroom.

“We are a strong nation. I was able to give birth. But I have a question for Russian mothers: are you ready to give birth to wartime in the basements of your children? For there is such a war. The war that Russia started. ”

“And I have a message for the whole world: can you forgive yourself if you are indifferent now and do not help in a concrete way when Ukraine is under attack and mothers have to give birth in the basements?”

He has concrete proposals for the international community.

“Close the airspace of Ukraine. Prevent Russian fighters from entering our country. And immediately exclude Russia from the payment system Swift. ”

War however, it continues to be broader than expected. President of Russia Vladimir Putin he did not just want to push the borders of the separatist territories he supported and recognized as “independent” further west in Luhansk and Donetsk.

The 69-year-old authoritarian president wants to crush the whole of Ukraine by ordering young Russian men to a life-threatening attack from the north, east and south and forcing them to bomb Ukrainian soldiers, children, mothers and fathers from Kiev to Lviv and Kharkov to Mariupol.

“Russia is in difficult conditions as protesters are thrown in jail. But not everyone in Russia knows what atrocities are happening now. They need to know. And they have to respond to that knowledge if they want to respect their humanity. ”

Saturday evening it gets dark. Darkness is likely to mean new air alarms again and new rushes to this family’s parking garage for this family.

“We are afraid the fighting will approach this part of the city as well,” Svetlana says.

“But we can only wait. We can’t escape. ”

Over however, one hundred thousand Ukrainians decided to flee to the west and NATO land reached Poland as early as Thursday and Friday. Some evacuated to Moldova and Hungary.

“But for us, an escape is not an option. The congestion to the west of Kiev is huge and we can’t stay in roadblocks for hours with newborn Mija either. In addition, we have a small car and we would not want to leave our own parents without help, ”says Svetlana.

Despite the serious situation, Svetlana’s mother’s gaze becomes gentle again when baby Mija wakes up.

“Isn’t he wonderful! I would like to kiss the hands of the doctors and nurses who helped Mija’s world. Their hands save lives! ”

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