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MSF condemns missile attack which destroys office, injures staff in Donetsk

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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemns the missile attack on our office in Pokrovsk, Donetsk oblast (region), Ukraine, on 5 April, at approximately 3:15 am. The building was completely destroyed and five people were injured, including MSF’s security staff.  As a result, we have suspended our medical humanitarian activities in Donetsk oblast temporarily, except supporting emergency care and ambulance referral services.  
“This act of violence against a humanitarian organisation cannot be brushed off as just another casualty of war,” says 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.”  

MSF’s security staff, Eduard Marchenko, who was inside the office when the attack occurred, was injured.

“I was in the living room when the blast lifted me up and threw me like a wave to the ground,” says Marchenko.

As a result of the blast, Marchenko has a contusion and a skull injury. He has received treatment and is recovering. Four people who were near the building at the time of the attack also sustained injuries, including a 14-year-old boy. They received medical care and did not need hospitalisation.

A member of the MSF team examines the scale of the destruction after the attack on the MSF office in Pokrovsk, which left it completely destroyed. Donetsk oblast, Ukraine, 5 April 2024.
Yuliia Trofimova/MSF

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

Our office in Pokrovsk was also our pharmacy and logistical centre for equipment and cars. This 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 Vinnynsia oblasts, but we must ensure that our operations can be carried out safely and effectively. 

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