A full-scale war has been unfolding in Ukraine since 24 February 2022. The Russian Armed Forces damaged dozens of hospitals and attacked medical professionals for the past two weeks. In Mariupol, a child died of dehydration.

An independent think tank, the Ukrainian Healthcare Center (UHC), records cases of shelling of the medical facilities, attacks on ambulances, and casualties among healthcare workers in Ukraine. The team documented 42 episodes of attacks against the healthcare system during this time.

“As of March 9, our team has documented 42 cases of attacks on healthcare infrastructure and medical professionals in Ukraine. Russia is deliberately provoking a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The bombing of private homes, schools, and hospitals have no military justification.

The humanitarian catastrophe is a part of Russia’s hybrid war. The aggressor intends to spread panic, create a flow of refugees at the borders and force the Ukrainian government to surrender,” said Pavlo Kovtonyuk, co-founder of the Ukrainian Healthcare Center — UHC.

Several hospitals were demolished, dozens more were severely damaged in various cities of Ukraine.

Medical facilities in Ukraine continue to operate 24/7 and provide medical care to Ukrainian citizens where possible. At the same time, weapons of Russian troops hit medical facilities in the Donetsk region (Vuhledar, Volnovakha, and Mariupol cities, Chasiv Yar village), Luhansk region (Lysychansk city), Kyiv region (Buzova and Borodyanka villages, Irpin city), Zaporizhia region (Melitopol city, Vasylkivka village), Sumy region (Trostyanets city), Kharkiv region (Kharkiv and Izium cities), Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv.

As a result of hostilities by the Russian army, the Irpin city outpatient clinic and the new medical center, which are located just 21 km from the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, were bombed. The occupiers seized some medicines and previously imported humanitarian aid.

On 7 March, a cruise missile was shot down over the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital, damaging a window and nearly breaking down a door. Three severely injured children couldn’t make it to the hospital and died in ambulances the day before. However, the hospital’s personnel continue to work, provide dialysis and maintain a patriotic mood.

On 5 March, a unit of Chechen Kadyrov security forces (Kadyrovtsy, a term used by the Chechen population to identify paramilitary units supporting the former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov) entered the Borodianka psychoneurological facility with a geriatric ward. They mined all entrances to the facility and fired artillery from there at the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There were more than 670 patients in the institution; 100 are not transportable. All of them, along with the staff, became hostages.

In besieged Mariupol, a child died of dehydration for the first time in decades.

In the city of Mariupol, a child died of dehydration due to a humanitarian catastrophe. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi reported it in his video address.

“Mariupol is a peaceful and hard-working city without any internal malice. It was surrounded, sieged. The occupiers deliberately cut off means of communication. They deliberately blocked the supply of food, water supply, electricity. For the first time in decades, since the Nazi invasion, a child has died of dehydration in Mariupol,” the Ukrainian President said.

He addressed international partners: “Listen to me today, dear partners! A child died of dehydration in 2022!”

Hospitals continue to operate and provide care.

Despite constant shelling and threats, medical institutions in Ukraine continue to operate 24/7 and provide medical care. They work despite shattered windows and a lack of electricity.

Medical professionals are fighting for each life under a constant threat. In Mykolayiv hospital, 69 windows were shattered during the last shelling. 2 maternity hospitals – in Zhytomyr and Buzova – were hit by missiles but are still trying to be operational. 6 doctors were wounded after cluster bombs hit Vuhledar (this type of weapon is forbidden, this attack is a war crime).  

Russian troops killed two doctors and wounded three more while shelling and shooting the ambulances. The attacks occurred in Sumy, Kyiv, Poltava, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts. Due to the shelling, some medics are unable to reach their patients.

Since the beginning of the war, five doctors have been killed, and 21 have been wounded.

*Data on the number of casualties is not final due to the intensity of combat actions across the country. All data is compiled from open sources by the UHC team.

The Ukrainian Healthcare Center (UHC) is a Ukrainian analytical center that provides consulting, analytical and educational services. Its main competencies are in healthcare policy and management, healthcare economics and financing, and healthcare transformation.