UPDATE: Best Photos of the Week (03/13/22)

Previously on This Just In… Check out #8.

The update.

Posted this afternoon on the Facebook page of the photographer, giving a voice to the pregnant woman in the picture before she lost her own:

My name is Iryna Kalinina, and I should be a mother this year.

I grew up as an only child in a village near Mariupol, and moved to the city as an adult.

I adored my seaside city and would take long walks to my favorite theater, in the neighborhood near the mosque, and especially to the pier, where I could feel the east wind in my hair and the spray of water on my face.

From the coast, I could see the smokestacks of Azovstal, where my husband Ivan worked.

We were together for almost eight years, and were married for five of those.

We were a family of two, with enough money to be comfortable even if we couldn’t quite afford the vacation abroad we dreamed of. Instead, we traveled to Berdyansk, rented a hotel room and warmed ourselves on the beach.

In 2021, we moved into a bigger apartment because the most wonderful thing had happened. We were finally going to have a baby after years of trying. We started to renovate a nursery.

When the war started, we didn’t really understand how important Mariupol would be, that the bombs would fall every day, that food and water would be cut off. And so we stayed.

My due date was coming, and I went to Hospital Number 3 for a bed in the maternity ward. I was afraid that I might lose the child. Ivan settled me into the room, then went looking for medicines and diapers for the baby about to be born.

Many pharmacies were closed or looted, but he never gave up.

On the afternoon of March 9, a Russian airstrike hit the center courtyard, just outside my window. The shock wave shattered the glass, sent bricks flying into the room, and sent the ceiling crashing onto my pelvis and head. It took rescue workers 30 minutes to find me in the debris, lift me on an army stretcher and carry me down the narrow staircase.

I did not see the bright pink blanket, decorated with a watermelon print, spread beneath me on the stretcher. But I touched my stomach as the rescue workers rushed me to the ambulance.

Kill me now, I told the doctors. I won’t live if you can’t save my son. My Miron. They could not save Miron and they could not save me.

Ivan searched everywhere for me that night. The next day, they told him to look among the dead. And that’s here he found me, in a numbered bag with other undocumented dead.

He did not recognize me at first. He did not not want to recognize me.

Ivan, my Ivan buried me with our child. I will never forget how much I loved him and how much we wanted a child. He has left Mariupol but Miron and I are still there, in a cemetery in the village where I grew up.

My name is Iryna Kalinina, I was 32 years old. And a Russian pilot killed my child before he could live.

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