Ukraine: Mum forced to give birth in metro bomb shelter as Russians besiege Kyiv

26 February 2022, 08:15 | Updated: 26 February 2022, 09:12

Residents have been forced to seek shelter in the metro
Residents have been forced to seek shelter in the metro. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A mother was forced to give birth in a metro station that’s being used as a bomb shelter as Russian forces besiege Kyiv.

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The cost of Vladimir Putin's invasion on ordinary people has been laid bare after the woman was forced to give birth while residents struggle to access medical services during strikes.

Russian forces are advancing to the city on two axes and residents have been implored to fight back with rifles and Molotov cocktails.

As the Kremlin's forces rain down missiles on Kyiv, residents have been forced to shelter in metro stations.

Oksana Pokalchuk, the director of Amnesty International Ukraine, said "most people" in the city went to bomb shelters or basements, including her family, as strikes continue.

"Yesterday night, new life, a new child was born in the metro station in the shelter," she told LBC's Andrew Castle.

"Could you imagine the level of stress and the level of disappointment that people are now feeling?

Read more: 'We won't lay down our guns': Ukraine vows to defend Kyiv as street fighting breaks out

"We can not get any medical services, most of our food shops are closed, as well as pharmacies – not because they are closed for some reason, people cannot reach these places to open pharmacies."

The UK Ministry of Defence has said Russian armoured units are closing in on Kyiv, while Ukrainian officials say street fighting has broken out in the capital.

Explosions have been heard in the city amid the air raid sirens.

Read more: Putin urges Ukraine military to overthrow 'neo-Nazi' leaders and negotiate with Russia

Read more: 'Our fate is being decided': Zelensky's chilling warning as Russian troops encircle Kyiv

Ukraine rejected calls to surrender and has mounted fierce resistance across the country.

"Listen. I am here. We will not lay down the weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapon is our truth," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the defiant Ukrainian president who has told the public he is target number one for Russia.

"And the truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of that."

There are fears Putin seeks to topple his democratically elected government and replace it with a regime more pliable for Moscow.

Meanwhile, Putin has been sanctioned by the UK, US and EU over the invasion, along with banks and oligarchs, and Western nations remain in talks about tougher measures.

The US has pledged $600m in military assistance to Kyiv.

China abstained in a UN Security Council vote calling for Russia to withdraw and condemning the invasion – notably failing to vote against it with Moscow, which vetoed the resolution.