In his hospital bed, little Artem stares into space. He clutches a small yellow toy tractor but says nothing as specialist nurses monitor his condition. The Russian shell that blasted shrapnel into his belly also badly wounded his parents and grandparents as they tried to flee Mariupol. A victim of Putin’s war and he’s not yet three years old.
In the next bed to Artem lies 15-year-old Masha, also from near Mariupol. Her right leg was amputated after it was torn apart by the blast from a Russian shell last Tuesday.
The very worst of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and what the relentless Russian bombardment has done to the people trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol, can be seen at the Regional Children’s Hospital in the nearby city of Zaporizhzhia.