UK doctor caught in Kyiv crossfire as bombs fall and civilian body count increases

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British doctor training medics in Ukraine says she was left ‘cowering in a corner’ during Kyiv bombing and lost a colleague – mother to a five-year-old – in Putin’s latest attacks on the city

  • A UK doctor who travelled to Kyiv to help train medics in the country’s capital appeared on daytime show Lorraine on Tuesday
  • Dr Rachel Clarke is now leaving Ukraine as it’s become too dangerous, just days after she arrived in Kyiv to help instruct colleagues in the city on palliative care
  • Told programme, the country has an unshakable ‘spirit’ in spite of latest attacks 
  • Recounted how a young doctor, mother to a five-year-old, died on her way home from a large hospital in Kyiv after being caught in a bombing

A palliative care doctor from the UK is on her way home back to Britain, just a few days after her arrival in Kyiv following Russia’s latest air strikes on the city. 

Dr Rachel Clarke spoke to ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday, after getting caught up in crossfire while trying to help train medics in the Ukraine capital.

The UK doctor had travelled to the war-torn country hopeful that Kyiv was safe following a lull in attacks on the city. 

However, Clarke told Lorraine the situation has now become too dangerous as civilian deaths mount up following the barrage of Russian air strikes – and recounted how a young doctor, mother to a five-year-old, died on her way home from a large hospital in Kyiv. 

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UK doctor, Dr Rachel Clarke, who travelled to Kyiv to help train medics in the country's capital appeared on daytime show Lorraine on Tuesday recounting her experiences of the recent bombings in the city

UK doctor, Dr Rachel Clarke, who travelled to Kyiv to help train medics in the country’s capital appeared on daytime show Lorraine on Tuesday recounting her experiences of the recent bombings in the city

A medical worker runs past a burning car after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, yesterday - air strikes have come thick and fast from the Russians

A medical worker runs past a burning car after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, yesterday – air strikes have come thick and fast from the Russians 

The group of UK medics, who had travelled to help their Ukrainian colleagues learn more about palliative care and teach them how to use particular equipment, have now fled the country after deadly bombing over the weekend. 

After a few days in the nation’s capital, Dr Clarke and her team are now making their way home. 

The doctor said: ‘We arrived in Kyiv by train yesterday and we were ushered straight into an underground bomb shelter upon arrival. 

‘We never imagined we would get caught up in one of Putin’s bombing raids – but such is life for everyone there.’ 

Lorraine commented on the new ‘intensity of bombing’ after a break in fighting in the city. 

Clarke explained: ‘We thought we would be safe, Kyiv hadn’t had air strikes for some months now. Normal life has almost started here again.  

‘After the recent bombings people have been traumatized. The students were really shaken that yet again Putin was targeting the city, and civilian areas. 

‘A children’s playground was hit – it’s now just got a crater in it. 

Dr Clarke thought she and her team, who came to Ukraine to teach palliative care to medics, would be safe in Kyiv as there had been less attacks in recent months

Dr Clarke thought she and her team, who came to Ukraine to teach palliative care to medics, would be safe in Kyiv as there had been less attacks in recent months

She told the harrowing story of a medic lost to the bombardment, saying: ‘One of our doctor friends told us a young female doctor had died after being hit on her way home from work last night – she was a mother to a five-year-old son. 

‘She was treating children with cancer. Putin’s just killed her.’ 

Despite her experiences, she says the people of Ukraine still have ‘spirit’ She said: ‘I was cowering in a corner when the bombs hit but they were standing, stoically, gritting their teeth as if to say “we’ve been here before, we can get through it again”.

‘The spirit here is unshakeable – teens were still chanting in the street ‘Putin Dickh***’.’

Ukranian president Zelensky hit headlines this morning calling the recent bombings ‘terrorist attacks’. 

As Russian missiles hit the city of Kyiv, causing 64 injuries and at least 11 deaths, this onslaught on the capital is the first in months. 

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