'Don't leave us. We'll die': Nurse recalls rescuing 19 special needs patients from Georgian shelling

A nurse from South Ossetia, who rescued 19 people from a burning psychiatric ward in Tskhinval during the Georgian raid and spent days in a cellar with terrified mental patients, has recalled the tragic events of August 2008.

» Top New Products

PC Tuneup Maestro

Purchase  this  product  and  clean  your  PC  and  enhance  the  performance.                                                               

Free SEO Software

Want  to  rank  highly  in  Google?  Try  traffic  Travis,  free  SEO  software                                                               

Recode Your Brain For Abundance

Learn  how  you  can  hardwired  your  brain  and  design  your  destiny    and    the  freedom  you  deserve               

Guide To Government Auctions

A  Comprehensive  Database  Listing  Thousands  Of  Live    and    Online  Government  Auctions  By  The  State       

Pencil drawing made easy

Learn  this  step  by  step  instruction  of  drawing  from  32  hours  of  training  videos                                         

Learn to make Miracles

Unleash  your  psychic  abilities  so  they  can  perform  *physical*  skills                                                               

Transform-37 - Focus. Aim. Achieve

Dr.Mani's  'TRANSFORM  37'  personal  development  program.                                                                                           

EB2 NIW Do-It-Y Kit

A  comprehensive  DIY  Kit  for  the  application  of  a  United  States  green  card  through  the  NIW  track.       

Checklist for RVers

Forgetting  anything  can  be  expensive  Double  checking  is  wise                                                                               

Micro Niche Keywords

It  contains  a  list  of  21,000  +  micro  niche  keywords  in  just  a  few  clicks.                                                     

Become A Pressure Point Fighting Expert

The  Russell  Stutely  Online  Pressure  Point  Black  Belt  Course.                                                                               

Receive FREE Betting Tips

It's  completely  free  and  tips  are  directly  from  the  network  of  professional  tipsters.                             


Irina Bibilova was on a night shift on August 8 when the Georgian forces launched a sudden, large-scale attack on the breakaway Republic of South Ossetia. Its capital Tskhinval immediately came under indiscriminate shelling, with a local psychiatric ward becoming one of the targets.

As the first explosions were heard, Irina and other medics decided to gather the patients on the first floor of the hospital. But they quickly realized that it wasn’t safe there either and began evacuating the facility.

“Under the garage building [not far from the hospital] there was a trench to repair the cars. And they let us in and we stayed in that hole for 24 hours,” Irina told RT’s Ruptly video agency.

Read more

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili during a joint media conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in July 2008. © David Khizanishvili

At some point, the nurses realized that one of their female patients had been left behind and they made a heroic decision to abandon their shelter to retrieve her. When they found the woman, the hospital was already burning after being hit by artillery and it was no easy task to persuade the mentally ill person to go with them.

Irina recalled that she and other nurses even tried to extinguish the flames, saying: “Despite the shelling, we managed to get three buckets of water there, but, of course, we couldn’t save our hospital.”

“But, thank God, we managed to save the patients,” Irina recalled, barely able to hold back her tears.

She gave her interview at the ruins of the hospital, which was never rebuilt after the short but deadly conflict that, according to various estimates, claimed between 400 and 1,600 lives, including several Russian peacekeepers. The aggression was only curbed by the intervention of the Russian military, after Moscow swiftly launched a ‘peace enforcing’ operation, within days shunting the Georgian forces deep back into their territory.

While all hell was breaking loose outside, inside their temporary shelter there was also “no food, water or medicine for the patients. They were very hungry,” Irina said. But fear was even greater as “they kept asking me every second: ‘Irina, you aren’t going to leave us, right? Don’t leave us. We will die.’ I told them: ‘I won’t leave you. We’ll be together. We’ll find rescue and we’ll live on.'”

“But they also understood that war is terrible. This is obvious even to the mentally affected people,” the nurse explained.

Read more

Mourning Angel, a monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, Tskhinvali © Alexei Kovalev

After some time, some of the patients, who were left without their usual medication started “acting erratically,” Irina said. “At times, we were forced to restrain them with our own hands, using force. There was no other way to calm the mentally affected.”

On August 9, the nurses decided to relocate to a safer and larger shelter, which turned out a very dangerous affair. “There was a gunfight. We were leaning to walls as we were getting out. I told them to follow me and by making small steps we went on. We were constantly on the lookout so that the patients wouldn’t get lost.”

They wanted to get to a nearby home in which, they knew, there was a big cellar. But it was already packed with all the people living in the area. So they had to quickly come up with a new sanctuary. “We took those 19 patients and ran. Walking was no option as shells flew above our heads. There was a constant sound of explosions.”

They were lucky to find a bunker where they’d spend another four days. During this time, Irina repeatedly “went outside and gathered plums in the nearby gardens. And I can’t imagine how she managed to find bread. She brought like 15 or 20 loaves,” another nurse, Svetlana, recalled. “She fed all of us.”

The medical staff and the patients were eventually evacuated from the war zone. The patients of the destroyed hospital are currently undergoing treatment in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz. Irina has, meanwhile, taken a new job and now works with kids in the main children’s hospital in Tskhinval.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.