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WHO data suggest more Ukrainians could die in medical site attacks in 2024

by Olena Goncharova July 9, 2024 3:41 AM 2 min read
Medical personnel (C) stand amid the rubble of the destroyed building of Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital following a Russian missile attack in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on July 8, 2024. (Roman Pilipey/AFP via Getty Images)
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A Russian missile strike on Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital on July 8 underscored the increasing number of deadly attacks on medical facilities, vehicles, and workers in the country this year. This incident adds to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), suggesting that more Ukrainians could be killed in such attacks this year compared to 2023.

Before the strike on the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, the WHO had documented 18 deaths and 81 injuries from over 175 attacks on healthcare infrastructure in Ukraine during the first half of 2024. Additionally, the organization recorded 44 attacks on medical vehicles within the same period.

Throughout 2023, the organization recorded 22 deaths and 117 injuries from 350 such attacks, including 45 specifically targeting medical vehicles like ambulances. Other organizations report even higher death tolls.

In the July 8 attack, at least one doctor and another adult were killed at the hospital, with at least 50 others, including seven children, injured according to local authorities.

Attacks on civilian hospitals are prohibited under Article 18 of the Geneva Convention, ratified by United Nations member states after World War II. Additionally, Article 20 of the convention mandates that healthcare workers must be protected by all warring parties.

‘I want Russians to feel it on their own skin’: Shock, fury at the site of children’s hospital attack
Nurse Olesia Filonenko was preparing for the first operation of the day at the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv when she heard explosions “somewhere far away.” “Then, in a second, everything was blown away,” she told the Kyiv Independent. “Dust, smoke. We were all blown out of the operating r…

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