Five-week-old baby and six-year-old girl killed with family as they tried to escape Ukraine war

ITV News Correspondent John Ray reports on the devastating toll the Russian invasion of Ukraine is having on innocent civilians caught up in the bloodshed

The human cost of the war in Ukraine has continued to mount as details emerged of a five-week-old baby and his six-year-old sister being killed alongside other relatives as their family desperately tried to flee their besieged city.

Baby Vanyushka was described as being a gift to his mother Irina when he was born in January, joining his older sister Sofia, who was known as the golden girl of the family.

But their young lives met a tragic end as the family attempted to flee their hometown of Kherson, a Ukrainian port city now under the complete control of Russian forces and where it is said innocent civilians have been shot by troops.

The children’s grandparents – Ana a teacher and Oleg a dedicated grandfather- were also killed. Credit: ITV News

Their uncle Denis described the horrific moment when he heard the children- along with their mother and two grandparents Ana and Oleg - being massacred at a checkpoint.

"Suddenly I hear crying. My god; The baby. How could they do this," he recalled.

‘’Their car was stopped, I put the phone on speaker and listened in," said Denis, who was able to hear the goings on as he was on loudspeaker with his mother travelling in the car - the vehicle was then shot to pieces.

Denis was on the phone with his mother who was travelling with the children. Credit: ITV News

‘’I heard Vanyushka crying. He was really weeping. He was injured," Denis continued.

"They finished their work. Vanyushka kept crying for two minutes and then he was quiet.’’

"We will win and the Russians will hear the truth," he vowed.

The deaths are among the hundreds of innocent Ukrainian lives claimed in the nine-day old war.

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The UN says at least 331 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russia invaded last week, although the real number is likely to be much higher.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service has said more than 2,000 civilians have died, though it’s impossible to verify the claim.

Marina Kalabina was a doctor at Kyiv's children's hospital. She was driving her injured nephew to a hospital when their car was attacked and she was killed.

Marina Kalabina

62-year-old Serge Zevlever helped hundreds of Ukrainian children with special needs find adoptive parents overseas. He had dual American and Ukrainian citizenship, so could have left the country, but had chosen to stay. He was also killed in Kyiv.

Serge Zevlever.

A teenager, known only as Ilya, died at an emergency field hospital in Mariupol. After passing, he was pictured under a bloodied cloth with his father, Sergey, sitting by him.

Ilya and his father, Sergey.