Pictures paint the pain of Ukraine war as mother loses 18-month-old son

This video contains distressing images

Marina Yatsko was comforted by her boyfriend after Russian shelling killed her 18-month-old son on Friday.

Kirill is now one of the latest victims of the Ukraine war following shelling in the port city of Mariupol.

Doctors did all they could to try to save the young boy's life, their own pain etched on to their faces as their attempts were in vain.

Marina cries out “why, why, why”. She goes to gently cradle her son’s now lifeless body, as her boyfriend, Fedor, stands by her side. Both mourning the death of a life that had not yet even begun.

That question of “why” is on the minds of Ukrainians and the world right now, the loss of life is mounting in this ceaseless war.

A medical worker reacts after the life of 18 month-old Kirill could not be saved. Credit: AP

Mariupol was one of the cities that should have been under a ceasefire on Saturday, an opportunity to safely evacuate its citizens.

But top Ukrainian officials later said shelling has continued in the city and in Volnovakha – the eastern city which was also meant to be under a ceasefire.

Marina Yatsko and her boyfriend Fedor comfort each other after the loss of Kirill. Credit: AP

The besieged port city has been hit by a sustained assault by Russian forces since the war started, that has left its residents without electricity, running water and with food and medicine shortages.

Shells have been falling in the snow-covered town, devastating local communities in residential areas as injured residents continue to pour into a hospital.

A woman walks past the debris in the aftermath of Russian shelling, in Mariupol. Credit: AP

At one hospital in the city, the stress has been unbearable for patients and medical workers alike.

"We continue working without electricity, weather, and heat," said Dr. Evgeniy Dubrov. "We've worked more than a week without a break."

Russia's aim in Mariupol is to cut Ukraine off from access to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azos, but its the residents of this port city who are the needless victims of the ongoing war.