Ukrainian monastery turned into makeshift hospital

Mikhailovsky monastery, one of the most notable sights in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, has become a makeshift hospital in the wake of the unrest and violence resulting from the clashes between protesters and the police.

"It is a regular Ukrainian orthodox church, but right now it is a hospital where people can be operated on or receive care from doctors," activist Kateryna Overchenko told the BBC.

The emergency centre has been challenging to put together because of the chaos in the capital and shortage of supplies.

She has been appealing to people to donate blankets and clothes to help care for the wounded being brought to the monastery.

"At first it was very hard because no one knows what is going on. A lot of people were scared and stayed at home," Ms Overchenko said.

Anatoly Daniluk, a former army doctor who is helping at the centre, told The Telegraph that "hundreds" had passed through the previous night.

He described removing shrapnel from people's legs and seeing "serious injuries" caused by nails packed into grenades.

"I saw more than one person lose an eye," he told the newspaper.

"We saw concussions and facial burns where police threw grenades straight at people's heads. There were head traumas and bruises from truncheons. And then there are the bullets."

Mr Daniluk explained that makeshift hospitals like this one were often preferred over the larger, better equipped ones.

"People are terrified of going to state-run hospitals," he said, referring to the abduction and possible torture of two wounded activists in January, one of whom was later found dead.

Despite this fear, sometimes there is no option but to go elsewhere.

"If it is a relatively light injury, we try to treat it ourselves," Mr Daniluk said. "But if it is really serious, they have to go straight to specialist centres."

Many Ukrainians have come forward to assist the new hospital, Ms Overchenko said: "We have a long list of people like drivers who help us bring in food or medicine, we have a list of people ready to take care of people who are wounded."

Providing this help does come with a cost for some. Andrei, a 29-year-old volunteer ambulance driver told The Telegraph: "I got shot today – rubber round. But if we don't go out there, who will?"

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