Latest news of the war in Ukraine | Several explosions shake kyiv hours before resuming negotiations with Moscow | International


The Mikolaiv Forensic Institute is overwhelmed. His morgue is overcrowded. The bodies of dozens of people — the vast majority of them Ukrainian soldiers, in bloody uniforms and very young bodies — lie on top of each other in two rooms in the backyard, where a sweet smell permeates everything. There are more black bags there. Some not so bulky contain the charred remains of someone who was recently breathing, walking, drinking, laughing, talking and was hit by an explosion.

Mikolaiv, an important Black Sea port city known for its shipyards, has been resisting a harsh offensive by Vladimir Putin’s troops for two weeks. Boxed in an estuary, the town is, after the capture and occupation of Kherson, the next piece that the Kremlin wants to dominate before launching itself into Odessa, the largest port in Ukraine and a very symbolic city for Russian nationalism.

The shield-city resists, but at a very high cost. There are no official figures yet of verified deaths, but there are several dozen. Of its 500,000 inhabitants, 40% have left because of the war. Classes, as in the whole country, have been suspended. Trams and trolleybuses are active, but buses have been withdrawn. Now, with signs stuck to the windows with the word “child” — like dozens of private cars — they are used for evacuations. Everything is closed, except for some supermarkets and pharmacies, where some medicines are already becoming scarce, reports Maria Sahuquillo from Mykolayiv.

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PHOTO: Mortal victims of the war in the Mikolaiv morgue. (M. Sahuquillo)

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