Inside the hospital on Ukraine's frontline

STORY: This hospital in the small Ukrainian town of Bakhmut was never intended to receive queues of ambulances

bringing the wounded and traumatized from the front line of Europe's biggest battlefield.

Nor did the volunteer paramedics helping there expect, four months ago, to be within earshot of rockets and shelling.

Elena Bulakhtina, a Russian-born Canadian medic, volunteers for the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital.

"I haven't seen so much human tragedy before. Absolutely unnecessary suffering."

Right now, the hospital's main job is to "stabilize" the injured from the battle zone around the town of Popasna in the Luhansk region.

So that they can be moved on to bigger hospitals in western Ukraine, farther from the main battle.

Svitlana Druzenko, Bulakhtina's boss, says the death toll is increasingly worrying to her.

"Every, every day people are dying in different regions. A lot of them. This is the most frightening for me. I think about it and want this to end as soon as possible. But I understand that it won't. This goes on and on, and will continue for longer."

The sheer scale of a front line that stretches for hundreds of kilometers has stretched Ukraine's resources to the limit.

Some of the ambulances arriving at the hospital are second-hand German or Polish ones.

A few meters from the emergency entrance, a wooden door used as a stretcher lies covered in dried blood.

Tetiana Osovska visited the hospital:

"The situation is dire. Light and water are repeatedly turned off. There has been no gas, no water, and no light at all in the new districts for months. There is fighting from all sides of Sievierodonetsk, every day."

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called "a special operation" to demilitarize and "denazify" its southern neighbor.

But Ukraine and its allies dismiss that as a baseless pretext for a war of conquest.

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