Military medics of Ukraine
Military medic

Yulia is a military medic. Her husband Anton Nedilko served in the rear guard. Both are in garrison hospital No. 555. When the war began, the couple worked without breaks for rest, so they had to take their three-year-old son to the hospital. It was impossible to leave the boy with his neighbors under daily shelling. All three were in the hospital until the moment when an aerial bomb was dropped on it.

“When everything around us started exploding on February 24, we almost stopped going out, we did it only occasionally. They were in the hospital all the time. Wounded people, both civilians and military, were brought to us from all over the city. Even children. There was no electricity or gas in the city, people were cooking outside, and at that moment something flew by. We saw people without arms or legs. From the first days of the offensive, we understood that something could also fall on us, but we had to stay in the operating rooms. All our doctors operated in body armor and helmets. We slept and ate like that. We didn’t take it off for many days,” says Yulia.

The hospital wasunder shelling for several times. After the first one, all the windows and doors were broken, glass fragments were everywhere. The wounded, among whom there were many serious ones, as well as doctors, began to be lowered into the basement.

Meanwhile, Mariupol turned into a city of death.

“You walk through the city, and there are corpses everywhere. They lie there, no one picks them up. A human was just walking down the street, something flew by. She died and remained in the same place. And so throughout Mariupol. What we saw, you won’t see even in a horror movie,” Yulia admits.

She says that in the first days of March, many hoped for evacuation, but very soon everyone realized: the city is surrounded, evacuation is impossible.

When an aerial bomb was dropped on the hospital on March 15, there were ongoing operations in it, rescuing civilians who had lost limbs.

“The ceiling simply fell, someone managed to get out from under the rubble, someone remained under it forever,” recalls Yulia.

The hospital management decided that it was impossible to provide medical care in such conditions.

“Operational facilities were destroyed, tools and equipment were destroyed. Street fights also started 300 meters from us. We had no weapons, no one guarded us. We understood that at any moment the Russians could come to us, take us prisoner or kills us,” says Yulia.

Hospital staff began taking patients to the nearest bunkers. Among them there were many heavy ones who could not move on their own. They rescued people day and night. So some ended up at Azovstal, and some at the plant named after Ilyich

“When we were going to the bunker, a man, one of the patients, approached me and said: “Where are you going with the child?” I say: “To the bunker, we have nowhere to go, everything is broken.” Then he told me not to even think about going there with the child, because we will never get out of there,” recalls Yulia.

So she decided to try to leave the city, and her husband stayed behind to help evacuate the wounded to the plant named after Ilyich

“Anton stayed, a lot depended on him, he was very worried about the sick. Three drivers remained with him. Then I found out that in the bunker they arranged bunk beds together, led the light,” says the woman.

Julia understood that she could not leave the service, but at the same time she had to save her son. Therefore, during the conversation with the commander, I did not hear any objections. She was warned that the trip could be dangerous.

“My son and I were leaving the city when we were fired upon. I went out at my own fear and risk to save the child, because I understood that everything was hopeless – the doctor recalls. — The road from Mariupol took three days. Twice came under fire. I hung white flags from the car, wrote “Children” on the glass, but they still shot at us. I was being checked by a Russian soldier at the checkpoint, and 500 meters away he was shooting at us. Mines were exploding, equipment was broken everywhere,” adds Yulia.

On April 29, Yulia learned that her husband was captured on the 12th of the same month. She has no more information. According to preliminary data, Anton and other prisoners from the plant named after Ilyichcan be detained in the Olenivsk correctional colony of the Donetsk region or in one of the pretrial detention centers of the city of Taganrog in Russia.