Russian tanks move towards Kyiv on Monday

Kyiv braces for advancing Russian tanks amid fierce shelling

Ynet reporter documents the evacuation to Israel of sick children from Kyiv, as Russian forces intensify their strikes on the capital ahead of an invasion of the city; Only those who will survive the journey can leave, doctor says

Ron Ben Yishai |
Published: 03.07.22, 16:12
Dr. Sergey Cherneychuk looked up at the sky with concern. "This morning, it is much closer and much more intense than usual," he says referring to the shelling that is heard well in the courtyard of the National Children's Hospital in Kyiv.
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  • But not only there. From 11 am, the shelling of the capital's northern areas was in full force while the 64 miles-long Russian military convoy, by some accounts, forged ahead.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    כוחות רוסים בדרך לקייב
    כוחות רוסים בדרך לקייב
    Russian tanks move towards Kyiv on Monday
    (Photo: EPA)
    Some of the forces at the front of the line acted in accordance with the Russian doctrine of massive shelling ahead of an attack.
    As they are shelling, most likely in advance of entering Kyiv itself, Ukrainians prepare. Four of their tanks are seen on the city's main thoroughfare not far from Maidan square and the presidential palace. They are part of the capital's defenses.
    In addition to sand bags and steel barriers erected in recent days, the Ukrainians are placing concrete barriers to stop the invading Russian tanks.
    Private cars can barely squeeze through and traffic jams are caused in several sections of the city, further complicating the efforts of those trying to leave.
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    Ukrainian volunteers for service await invading Russian armor as it is heading towards Kyiv on Monday
    Ukrainian volunteers for service await invading Russian armor as it is heading towards Kyiv on Monday
    Ukrainian volunteers for service await invading Russian armor as it is heading towards Kyiv on Monday
    (Photo: EPA)
    Dr. Cherneychuk has not been home since February 24 when the invasion began.
    He oversees the transfer of pediatric cancer patients and those suffering from other chronic ailments into busses that will take them across the border to Romania and then on to Israel for treatment.
    Israeli business people financed the operation. At first, five children were meant to make the journey, one of them on his own after his parents were unable to reach the city.
    But as I am writing these words, the group is growing and now includes elderly dialysis patients and as many children as the buss can carry.
    Cherneychuk explains he would like to send as many children out of Kyiv because his hospital has no basement where patients and staff can hide from the shelling, if and when the city center is hit.
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    Residents attempt to flee Kyiv ahead of Russian tanks entering the city
    Residents attempt to flee Kyiv ahead of Russian tanks entering the city
    Residents attempt to flee Kyiv ahead of Russian tanks entering the city
    (Photo: EPA)
    He points at the surrounding buildings and says: "They all have massive glass windows, that will shatter from the first blast. We've closed off a full floor of operating theaters because we cannot risk even one shell or missiles hitting nearby. Shattering glass during an operation, is our nightmare scenario," he says.
    " Even if the Russians say they will not target hospitals I do not believe them. They are liars. Just like they lie when they say they will open humanitarian corridors for civilians to leave."
    Earlier, the Russians said they were holding their fire and opening humanitarian corridors for civilians to leave Kyiv and at 9 am, the bombing stopped and suddenly all was silent.
    But the doctor is skeptical, and he has good reason to be. The corridor the Russians opened was from Kyiv to Belarus, Moscow's ally. Perhaps civilians were being led to internment camps there.
    Later shelling resumed and Kyiv itself came under attack.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    תותח הוביצר של צבא אוקראינה יורה הפגזה בעקבות מלחמה עם רוסיה באזור מקאריב שבמחוז קייב
    תותח הוביצר של צבא אוקראינה יורה הפגזה בעקבות מלחמה עם רוסיה באזור מקאריב שבמחוז קייב
    Ukrainian forces target Russians outside Kyiv
    (Photo: Reuters)
    One boy who has a kidney ailment and was about to board the bus, stared with indifference at his iPhone. In the bed near him, an 18-year old girl, who has severe blood cancer, lay with a box beside her containing special food prepared by the staff to feed her on the journey. Though no one can say how long that may take.
    Rafael Yoha, a business man who is organizing the evacuation of the kids, asks the doctor if there is enough medical equipment on the bus?
    "No," Cherneychuk says. "We don't have equipment and are only sending the patients whom we believe, can survive the journey to the Romanian border. We have no choice," he says.
    As the wounded begin arriving at the emergency room, the hospital staff is running around. One child was brought in from Irpin, where Russian shelling has been relentless.
    "We have to prepare for many more like him," Cherneychuk says.
    Good morning Kyiv.



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