At a field hospital not far from the front line in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the sound of artillery fire and incoming rounds punctured the otherwise placid surroundings on a warm fall day.
But inside the one-story hospital — where sandbags and tape covered most of the windows, blocking out almost all natural light — it was anything but calm.
The operating theater was abuzz as doctors raced to stem the bleeding on a middle-aged woman who had been hit by shrapnel. As they pulled out shards of metal from her legs and abdomen — some pieces the size of a tic-tac, others as big as a bar of hotel soap — two soldiers were brought in.
One was walking wounded: Blood staining his pants, he shuffled into a nearby treatment room where a doctor calmly examined him. A member of his regiment looked on, anxiety etched on her face.
The other soldier was face down on a gurney, his back covered in blood. Groaning in pain, he was wheeled into the operating theater and lifted onto the table.
Nearly a dozen doctors and nurses crowded into the operating room to tend to the patients: A soldier and a civilian, both victims from the same front line.