Anna Timchenko was afraid. She had been giving birth for several hours, and her hometown was constantly bombed. She and her husband were trapped without electricity, water or medical care.
The small town of Bucha, 30 km from Kyiv, has been mercilessly shelled since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
21-year-old Anna, along with her husband and brother, first hid in the basement of their apartment building. But when the electricity and heating disappeared, the basement became very dark and cold.
Anna's husband, Volodymyr, was torn between wanting to stay in Bucha and trying to leave. When they finally tried to leave by car, they had to return - it turned out that a column of Russian military equipment was moving towards them. "Then we decided to stay in the apartment," she says.
When her contractions began late in the evening of March 7, she called on neighbors for help. They came, but none of them had given birth before. The room was lit by candles, and the only available was ice water from bottles. "I never thought I would give birth in such conditions," says Anna. "It's completely surreal. This is my first child, and I didn't know anything."
Anna's neighbors desperately tried to call the doctors, but the connection was constantly disappearing. Eventually, they managed to contact a gynecologist in Bucha. He agreed to come, but never showed up. Later that day, he wrote a message apologizing and explaining that he had been stopped by a Russian patrol who had broken into his phone.