TOUCHING photos show babies born in Ukraine’s war zone bringing moments of hope, joy and bravery in the country’s darkest hours.
Despite the relentless bombardment from By Vladimir Putin army, nearly 30 women gave birth in the basement of a hospital in a city.
Their kids were born like a rain of bombs on their homeland – sometimes like bullets falling around hospitals.
Among them was Anastasia Hlachenko, 24, who was forced to prepare for the birth of her first child by taking shelter in a basement like Russian forces destroyed her city.
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Yesterday, she spoke to new mothers across Ukraine saying: “Giving birth in wartime is scary.
“But it was also a time of joy because it showed that even in the darkest times for Ukraine, life goes on.”
Another mother, Aleina, is pictured hugging her newborn Snizhana for a hospital basement in the besieged port city of Mykolaiv when air raid sirens sounded outside.
Meanwhile, bank employee Anastasia told about her scary journey, hugging baby Polina, to escape from the front line.
The banker lives in the southeastern city of Izyum with her landscape gardener husband Andriy, 29.
War broke out a few days before Anastasia was due.
She said: “At first we hid in the hallway away from the windows but it got worse so we went to the shelter. We were there continuously while the bombs were getting closer and closer.
“We just rushed upstairs to get food and water and once I went into the bedroom and saw a bullet had gone through the window and into our closet.
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“It made me realize how close war is to our home. I was really scared for both our safety and my baby.
“I really don’t want to have a baby in my home but I don’t know what I’m going to do.
“And the constant shooting and bombing just made things worse.”
Fortunately, the fighting calmed down for a short while and Andriy loaded her into their car and took her to the hospital.
She went into labor on March 1 and Polina was delivered by emergency cesarean section, weighing a healthy 7lb 8oz.
For a few peaceful hours, Anastasia enjoyed being a new mother. But it didn’t last.
“Early the next day, we had to go to the bunker under the hospital because the shelling was getting closer and closer,” she said.
“It was a small room and there were about ten other women there. It was freezing cold because all the windows were shot out and there were only mattresses on the floor.
“We were down there for two days. It’s a terrible way to spend the first few days with your baby, but I just want to keep her safe and warm.
“The fighting is really close, the hospital is under attack but I’m just focusing on Polina.”
After several days, things became so dangerous that they returned to her birth mother’s house.
Anastasia said: “A neighbor later told us that some buses were leaving the city.
“We managed to find seats for the three of us, my mother and my grandmother. It’s a miracle but we’re still not safe.
“As we drove away, they started shooting at us.
“It was horrifying. People were screaming and crying. We’re on the floor trying to dodge bullets.
“I hugged Polina very tightly. I will protect her with all I have.”
Amazingly, no one on the bus was injured and after taking two buses and one train, they finally made it to their loved ones. the safety of Lviv in the west of Ukraine.
Anastasia now doesn’t know what the future holds.
She said: “Having a baby during a war is horrible. But having a daughter is a joy for any woman.
“I will do all I can to keep her safe and I am confident we will win this fight and her life will return to normal.
“We just don’t know when that will happen.”
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IMAGES of women and children fleeing in terror in the devastated towns and cities of Ukraine moved Sun readers to tears.
Many of you want to help the five million people caught in the chaos – and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Foundation.
Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross to help women, children, the elderly, the sick and the injured.
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The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will assist people in the areas currently affected and those likely to be affected by the crisis in the future.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4903023/ukraine-war-babies-born/ Giving birth in the basement during war is scary