As sirens signalled incoming artillery fire, a member of staff from MSF was working in the hospital bunker, which MSF logistical teams continue to refurbish.
“I felt a powerful explosion as a shell landed on the premises of the medical facility where MSF works. At the time of the blast, I was inside the bomb shelter, overseeing general repair works. Our team has arranged a suitable bunker in this hospital for the Ministry of Health staff and patients. After the dust settled, I went upstairs and saw that the shell had struck the morgue, causing damage to concrete structures and gas pipes. There were approximately 150 people in the medical facility at the time of the shelling, including staff and patients. Fortunately, both staff and patients were unharmed. I want to emphasise that the hospital is located in a residential area, with a school and apartment buildings nearby.”
- Andrii Dobravskyi, MSF Operational Adviser
Just kilometres from the frontline, in territory re-taken by Ukrainian forces last year, the hospital has now been shelled twice in 72 hours. Since 24 February, 2022, MSF has repeatedly called for the protection of medical facilities after witnessing their destruction in Kherson, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Mikolaiv oblasts. This latest attack on a hospital is consistent with a pattern that MSF has observed in this war – and particularly with regard to Russian forces’ continued shelling of civilian infrastructure, residential areas and medical structures:
“How many times must we see the same thing? What does it even mean to be a caregiver or patient in this war? What will it take for those manning the guns to show a shred of respect for human life? Regardless of intent, we have repeatedly seen medical staff and civilians come under fire in this war. The message is simple: stop bombing hospitals.”
- Cyril Cappai, MSF Head of Mission