Ukraine's child amputees symbolise the brutality of Putin's war

Six-year-old Marina Ponomaryova had her leg amputated above the knee after a shell hit her home, ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

One day the war will end, through victory, defeat or negotiation, the shells will stop falling.

Frontlines will disappear and some normality will return.

It will be for those who survived to reflect on the hell it wrought on their world.

For a generation of children their bodies will be a permanent reminder of the years of battle.

Children like six-year-old Marina Ponomaryova. In May last year, a Russian shell hit her home. Both she and her mother were seriously injured.

Marina lost her leg when a shell hit her family's house. Credit: ITV News

Doctors decided Marina’s only chance of survival was to amputate her leg above the knee. They saved and changed her life in one operation.

In the first months, most of the child amputees' follow-up treatment came from abroad but, aware of the demand, doctors in Ukraine have learned how to treat such patients.

Marina was the first to be treated in her homeland.

Almost a year on, she is walking once again, even her crutches have gone but such progress belies the huge physical and psychological challenges she has - and will always - face.

She will not be alone in those challenges - a year of war has created 10,000 child amputees.

A generation whose bodies will forever tell of the toll of this war.

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