A Report by the Ukrainian Healthcare Center: Massive. Brutal. Deliberate

Source: Ukrainian Healthcare Center (UHC) 

This report combines an analysis of the evidence gathered by the Ukrainian Healthcare Center’s team from open sources, local witnesses, and site visits, related to the destruction of healthcare infrastructure in Ukraine.

Report (download)

The report displays the main patterns of attacks against healthcare facilities in Ukraine. They include targeted assaults, indiscriminate attacks, abuse of facilities during the occupation, and cluster munition use. In the first phase of the russian invasion (lasting 42 days), russian troops committed a total of 184 attacks on health facilities, on average four episodes daily.

In addition, the authors analyze the massive scale of destruction as constituting an overarching pattern. By doing so, they wanted to stress that in addition to considering separate hospital attacks individually, it is essential to look at them as a whole to understand the nature of russian aggression. Their finding is that the massive destruction of healthcare infrastructure was not a unique phenomenon, appalling as it is in itself. Rather, it illustrates the overall strategy russian forces and political leadership have applied against Ukraine. It is the strategy of deliberate disregard of distinguishing between civilian and military targets. In other words, terror.

This picture of all-pervasive terror is formed by episodes such as mass civilian killings in Bucha and Irpin, missile attacks on a railway station in Kramatorsk, the targeting of malls in Vinnytsia and Kremenchuk, and cluster munitions used against a children’s hospital in Chernihiv.

The documentation of hospital attacks intends to contribute to the legal prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by russian military and political leaders. In addition, the authors urge international organisations, the World Health Organization (WHO) in particular, to take a more active stance against the mass destruction of healthcare in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Healthcare Center (UHC) is a think tank based in Kyiv, Ukraine, providing consultancy, analytics, and educational services. Our core competencies are health system policy and governance, health economics and financing, and health system transformation.