Life Inside Mykolaiv, a Besieged Ukrainian City

The port city of Mykolaiv is being shelled by Russian forces every day. Bodies are piled at the morgue. But residents refuse to succumb.

MYKOLAIV, Ukraine — Alla Ryabko stood in the courtyard of the city morgue, trembling with grief and rage. Her son, Capt. Roman Ryabko, had been killed in fighting on the first day of the war in Ukraine, but two weeks had passed and his body had not yet been prepared for burial.

“He’s there lying in a bag,” she said, gesturing to the covered bodies on the ground. “They’re not even giving him to me so that I can wash him. I have to take him away in a bag, a garbage bag.”

The morgue is overflowing. Bodies are being released to families in the state they arrived, half-dressed in shredded military uniforms, spackled with blood and…

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