Ukraine: MSF condemns missile attack on its office in Pokrovsk

Attack leads to temporary suspension of medical activities.


Ukraine 2024 © Yuliia Trofimova/MSF

KYIV/New York, April 5, 2024—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemns a missile attack on its office in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, at approximately 3:15 a.m. local time today.  

The building was destroyed completely and five people were injured, including an MSF staff member.  As a result, MSF has suspended its medical humanitarian activities in the Donetsk region temporarily, with the exception of supporting emergency care and ambulance referral services.

“This act of violence against a humanitarian organization cannot be brushed off as just another casualty of war,” said Vincenzo Porpiglia, emergency coordinator for MSF in Ukraine. “Attacks on any facility where humanitarian staff work not only jeopardize the safety of our staff but also hinder the provision of lifesaving care to those in need.”

The MSF staff member who was injured, Eduard Marchenko, was a security staff person inside the office when the attack occurred. He was diagnosed with a contusion and a skull injury and is recovering after treatment. Four other people who were near the building at the time of the attack sustained injuries, including a 14-year-old boy. They received medical aid and did not need hospitalization. 

The MSF office in Pokrovsk is completely destroyed.
Ukraine 2024 © Yuliia Trofimova/MSF

MSF has been providing medical care in the Donetsk region since 2015. As the war escalated, our projects expanded, and we extended our assistance to areas near the front lines. We have been providing medical and psychological care through our mobile clinics, which serve over 100 communities where access to medical facilities is hampered by the continuing hostilities and a shortage of health care professionals. The Ministry of Health relies on MSF to carry out medical evacuations, running 15 ambulances in Donetsk and other regions when there are mass casualties after bombings.   

Adding to the current disruption to activities, the office in Pokrovsk was also our pharmacy and logistical center for equipment and cars.  

This incident followed two attacks in November 2023 on MSF-supported hospitals in Kherson and Selydove that resulted in deaths and injuries.  

MSF remains committed to providing vital medical assistance in multiple areas of Ukraine, including the Kherson, Cherkasy, and Vinnytsia regions, but we must ensure that our operations can be carried out safely and effectively.