LVIV, Ukraine/NEW YORK, June 22, 2022—The war in Ukraine is indiscriminately harming civilians who are struck by heavy weaponry in their homes, shelters, and evacuation routes, according to a report released today by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which is based on the experiences of patients that the organization has evacuated from eastern Ukraine by train.
Since March 31, MSF has medically evacuated more than 650 patients from war-affected areas in the east to hospitals in safer parts of the country. Medical data and accounts from these patients and their caretakers show that the war in Ukraine is being conducted with an outrageous disregard for civilian lives. This points to a lack of respect for civilian protection, which is a serious violation of international humanitarian law, MSF said.
“Children and elderly people make up a large proportion of the patients with war-related injuries that we care for on our medical trains,” said Avril Benoît, executive director of MSF in the United States. “Many have wounds associated with blasts that suggest the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, such as missiles, or artillery. When weapons like these are used in residential areas, it’s highly likely that civilians will be killed and injured.”