Skip to main content
Shelled out hospital building in Kherson

Hospital in Kherson shelled twice in 72 hours

War in Gaza:: find out how we're responding
Learn more

Kyiv – A hospital in Kherson oblast (province), Ukraine, has been shelled twice in 72 hours. The hospital was first shelled on Tuesday 2 August, resulting in the death of a doctor and the wounding of five medical staff. It has once again today come under artillery fire. The fact that the first attack was widely reported and condemned appears to have changed nothing in the way the hospital and the surrounding areas are being shelled. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has repeatedly called for the protection of hospitals and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, and once again condemns this outrageous attack on a medical facility.

As sirens signalled incoming artillery fire, a member of staff from MSF was working in the hospital bunker, which MSF logistics 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,” says Andrii Dobravskyi, MSF Operational Adviser. “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,” says Dobravskyi. “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.”

How many times must we see the same thing? ... The message is simple: stop bombing hospitals. Cyril Cappai, MSF Head of Mission, Ukraine.

The hospital, which we have chosen not to name out of security concerns, lies just kilometres from the frontline, in territory retaken by Ukrainian forces last year. 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 we have 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?” asks Cyril Cappai, MSF Head of Mission. “Regardless of intent, we have repeatedly seen medical staff and civilians come under fire in this war. The message is simple: stop bombing hospitals.”

Up Next
Project Update 29 December 2023