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The toll Russia’s war is taking on Ukrainian civilians, in photos

Russian bombing destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol. Families across the country have been split apart, as more than 2 million refugees flee.

Marina Yatsko and her boyfriend Fedor grieve in a Mariupol, Ukraine, hospital after medical staff were not able to save her 18-month-old, Kirill, who was killed by shelling on March 4.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Mariupol is in crisis. Russia has bombarded the city of 400,000 for a week, and efforts to establish a humanitarian corridor — a safe passage out for civilians — have so far failed. Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of shelling the evacuation route, effectively trapping people inside Mariupol who have already been cut off from water and electricity and cellphone service for days. Food and medicine are running out, adding to a situation the United Nations has described as “dire.”

The crisis is still unfolding, but images and videos from the city show the harm already wrought in the two weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Associated Press photojournalists Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka captured images of a man rushing a wounded toddler into a Mariupol hospital Friday, and they captured the hospital workers trying, and failing, to save 18-month-old Kirill. They captured the grief of Kirill’s mother, and his mother’s boyfriend, and the hospital workers who now must prepare for triage. “Show this to Putin,” a doctor said, according to Maloletka and Mstysalv.

Marina Yatsko, left, runs behind her boyfriend Fedor, who is carrying her 18-month-old son Kirill into a Mariupol hospital on March 4.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
Medical workers try to save 18-month-old Kirill.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
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Medical staff react after trying unsuccessfully to save Kirill’s life.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
Marina and Fedor mourn over Kirill.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

On Wednesday, five days later, a Russian strike destroyed a maternity hospital in Mariupol.

Ukrainian emergency workers and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman away from a maternity hospital in Mariupol that was destroyed by shelling on March 9. The AP reported on March 14 that the woman, whose identity has not yet been verified, and her baby subsequently died.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
An injured pregnant woman walks down the stairs to make her way out of the destroyed hospital.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

These scenes are repeated across Ukraine. In Kyiv, thousands are still trying to flee, as skirmishes and shelling continue on the outskirts of the city, in places like Irpin. In Kharkiv, heavy shelling has destroyed homes, and forced residents underground, into subways.

The full toll of the war so far is difficult to know, but the United Nations has estimated more than 1,300 civilian casualties, as of March 8. More than 470 civilians have died, the UN said, though the actual figure is likely much higher. Almost 2 million civilians have escaped to Poland, Moldova, and Romania in two weeks, making this Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. Most are women and children, as the men stay in Ukraine to fight.

Becky Bakr Abdulla, an adviser to the Norwegian Refugee Council who is currently based in Poland, said that most refugees she spoke to told her they fled Ukraine without a plan. And yet, she added, “there was no sign of them thinking that they would be able to return anytime soon.” —Jen Kirby

A member of a Territorial Defense unit guards a barricade close to the eastern frontline in Kyiv on March 5.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
A Ukrainian serviceman takes a shooting position as he looks at approaching vehicles in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on March 9.
Vadim Ghirda/AP
Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Force stand guard next to anti-tank structures blocking the streets of central Kyiv on March 6.
Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
A woman shelters behind a building as smoke and flames rise from a chemical warehouse that was hit by Russian shelling on the eastern front line near Kalynivka village in Kyiv on March 8.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
A young girl sits in an improvised bomb shelter in Mariupol on March 7.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
People queue up to receive a hot meal in a Mariupol bomb shelter on March 7.
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
A woman hugs her cat inside a subway wagon in a Kyiv underground metro station used as a bomb shelter on March 8.
Dimitar Dilkoff/STF/AFP via Getty Images
Two people help another evacuate from Irpin as the city comes under heavy shelling on March 6.
Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Getty Images
Civilians walk past the burned-out shell of a car as they flee Irpin on March 8.
Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Irpin residents evacuate as Russian forces advance and continue to bombard the town with artillery on March 6.
Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Irpin residents flee heavy fighting via a destroyed bridge as Russian forces enter the city on March 7.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
A family runs over the tracks as they race to board a Lviv-bound train, in Kyiv on March 3.
Vadim Ghirda/AP
Aleksander, 41, presses his palms against the window as he says goodbye to his 5-year-old daughter at the Kyiv train station on March 4.
Emilio Morenatti/AP
A family on an evacuation train says goodbye to a young man staying behind at the central train station in Odesa on March 6.
Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images
Children look out of the window of an unheated Lviv-bound train, in Kyiv on March 3.
Vadim Ghirda/AP
A woman gestures as she looks out the window of a train carrying women and children fleeing fighting in Bucha and Irpin on March 4.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
A crowd of people push to get on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station in Ukraine on March 7.
Emilio Morenatti/AP
People crouch and comfort each other aboard a train in Lviv as they prepare to leave the country on March 7.
Adria Salido Zarco/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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