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Russian shelling, a 6-year-old girl, and hopeless moments in a hospital

‘Show this to Putin’: A medical team fights desperately to save a child in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, but fails, in one of at least 352 civilian deaths during invasion

A woman reacts as paramedics perform CPR on a girl who was injured during shelling, at a city hospital of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2022. The girl did not survive. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A woman reacts as paramedics perform CPR on a girl who was injured during shelling, at a city hospital of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2022. The girl did not survive. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — In the port city of Mariupol, where Ukrainians are trying to fend off a Russian advance, an ambulance raced into a city hospital Sunday, carrying a 6-year-old girl mortally injured in Russian shelling.

She was pale. Her brown hair was pulled back with a rubber band. Her bloody pyjama pants were decorated with cartoon unicorns.

A medical team pumped her chest, fighting desperately to revive her. Her mother stood outside the ambulance, weeping.

“Take her out! Take her out! We can make it!” a hospital worker shouted, pushing a gurney to the ambulance.

The girl was raced inside and doctors and nurses huddled around her. One gave her an injection. Another tried to revive her with a defibrillator. A nurse wept. A doctor in blue medical scrubs, pumping oxygen into her, looked straight at the camera of an Associated Press journalist who had been allowed inside.

“Show this to Putin,” he said angrily. “The eyes of this child, and crying doctors.”

Medics perform CPR on a girl at the city hospital of Mariupol, who was injured during shelling in a residential area in eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2022. The girl did not survive. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The girl, whose name was not immediately publicized, could not be saved. The doctor reached gently over her face to close her eyes.

Her body was left alone in the room, covered by her brightly colored polyester jacket, now spattered with blood.

Ukraine has reported 352 civilian deaths, including 16 children, since the invasion began.

The lifeless body of a girl killed during the shelling of a residential area lies on a medical cart at the city hospital of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, February 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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