March 28, 2023

In a dingy medical outpost close to japanese Ukraine’s entrance strains, military medic Viktor battles to avoid wasting lives day-after-day.

Practically a 12 months into Russia’s invasion, combating now quantities to attritional duels of artillery and infantry assaults, with neither aspect making important beneficial properties.

The prices of that lethal grind are clear to Viktor’s workforce of seven medics and 6 nurses as they toil away, hemmed in by racks of medical provides and moveable heaters, at this “stabilisation level” within the Donetsk area, the place battles are fierce.

“The wounded are introduced right here, we offer therapy, stabilize them and restore important capabilities, and ship (them) to the subsequent stage of evacuation – to hospitals,” mentioned Viktor, who declined to present his full identify.

Describing the sensation of being unable to avoid wasting a life, Viktor, a gynecologist earlier than the warfare, mentioned: “It is the worst factor you’ll be able to think about.”

The variety of sufferers introduced in – as much as 25 per day – has risen sharply over the previous two weeks, he mentioned, the overwhelming majority wounded by shrapnel.

However bullet wounds have gotten extra frequent, an indication that combating is more and more at shut quarters.

Evacuating troopers from the entrance line, by way of one of many workforce’s 5 drivers, normally takes between 20 and 40 minutes, however the wounded typically discover themselves ready as much as two hours if the combating doesn’t let up.

That was the case on a latest day in late February, when troopers Ruslan and Serhiy have been introduced in for therapy on the closely sandbagged facility after being fired upon by a Russian tank.

Neither had life-threatening accidents, although Ruslan’s proper foot was mangled. Viktor’s workforce, which belongs to the 72nd Mechanized Brigade, believes he bore the brunt of the hit, serving to guarantee Serhiy walked away with solely a damaged arm.

Adrenaline helps maintain the medical workforce going and permits them to deal with the just about fixed movement of wounded troopers, together with some Russians who’re later exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners.

“That is our job,” mentioned Viktor from inside their outpost, which is festooned with Ukrainian flags and drawings and thank-you notes from youngsters throughout the nation.

“We all know what we signed up for.”

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