Russia is destroying the health care system in Ukraine

By Ludmila Denisova, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights

By destroying the health care system in Ukraine, the Russian troops are violating the rights of Ukrainian citizens to adequate medical care.

Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, 570 health care facilitiesand 101 hospitals have been destroyed. Russians shot or seized about 200 ambulances.

In the Luhansk region, the occupiers are stealing and exporting large stocks of foreign drugs and equipment from hospitals. In particular, in the first days of the occupation, medical equipment was dismantled on the territory of the temporarily occupied Kreminna and taken to Russia.

Approximately 10% of the population remained in Severodonetsk, Luhansk region – almost 15,000 residents and 5,000 residents of the community. There is no water, light or gas in the city, there are no safe zones due to constant artillery shelling with an interval of three to four minutes. The maternity hospital in Severodonetsk continues to operate in such difficult conditions. According to the chief physician of the Severodonetsk City Hospital Roman Vodyanyk, 15 patients with somatic pathology – bronchitis, pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes – are admitted to the almost destroyed hospital every day. 50 people receive inpatient treatment, 2-3 patients are hospitalized daily.

Russia violates the rights of Ukrainians to medical care guaranteed by the Hague and Geneva Conventions. Such actions are contrary to the rules of international humanitarian law, namely Article 51 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, which explicitly prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian objects.

We appeal to the UN Commission for Investigation Human Rights Violations during the Russian military invasion of Ukraine to take into account these facts of human rights violations in Ukraine.

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