Prof Oleksii Korzh
Head of the Department of General Practice-Family Medicine (Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education)

Started soon after Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine, Prof Korzh reports weekly  from Kharkiv on the medical and humanitarian situation in his city. Read his impressive testimonials!

22-11-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Russians do not stop their attempts to regain their lost positions. Russian occupiers are trying to counterattack in the Kupyansk direction in the Kharkiv region. The enemy also continues to shell settlements, located along the border of the Kharkiv region with the Russian Federation.

Hundreds of civilians in the Kharkiv region became victims of torture in prisons organised by the Russians in the occupied territories. Now it is known about 25 large torture chambers, the largest ones were found in Volchansk, Balakliya and Izyum. Police stations, large enterprises, railway stations and even schools were turned into prisons during the occupation of part of the Kharkiv region. Anyone could get there: participants of the Anti-terrorist operation and people who communicated in Ukrainian on the street, entrepreneurs, officials and just passers-by who came close to checkpoints.

There were 12-20 people in one cell, tightly packed. But there were exceptions as well. The Russians did not make any concessions for women. On the walls, prisoners scratched the number of days they spent in dungeons and wrote prayers. The police say it resembled a real concentration camp. The methods of torture were not different throughout the occupied territory. Often prisoners were electrocuted, their arms were broken with clubs and pipes, sometimes their nails were torn out.

The Kharkiv master plan has been updated since the beginning of the war. Representatives of the City Council promise to present it. This was discussed at a meeting of working groups under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Kharkiv citizens will see an updated plan by the end of the year. Conceptually, a new type of a transport system, infrastructure of the city will be presented in the near future.

In the next academic year, Kharkiv schools will receive new names. More than a dozen schools still bear the names of the heroes of the USSR. Perhaps there will be schools with the names of Ukrainian Heroes.

15-11-2022 Kharkiv during the war

On November 15 Russian terrorists massively shelled Ukrainian cities. The occupiers hit the Ukrainian infrastructure facilities, and, as a result, emergency power outages are introduced throughout Ukraine. Around 16:00 on November 15, Kharkiv residents heard approximately four powerful explosions. Residents of the city complained about power surges, and afterwards the light disappeared. Subsequently, it became known that the traffic in the Kharkiv metro was temporarily suspended. Ground electric transport didn’t run either. There were missile strikes at a critical infrastructure facility. Power engineers and public utilities workers are doing everything to normalize the life of Kharkiv as soon as possible.

A central hospital is being rebuilt in Balakliya. The medical facility was severely damaged due to the enemy’s shelling. During the occupation of Balakliya, the Russians set up barracks in the hospital. Then they removed and destroyed almost all medical equipment. While retreating, the invaders fired at the buildings of the medical facility. Vinnytsia became a twin town for the de-occupied Balakliya. Warm clothes, toys, bicycles, books, food, etc. arrived in Balakliya. Goods were collected by volunteers together with caring residents of Vinnytsia for the residents of the de-occupied community.

In the village of Lyptsi, the invaders destroyed the hospital, so a place was set up in the pharmacy for the initial examination of the residents. This is a temporary but necessary solution. The place has the telemedicine equipment, and residents can undergo an initial medical examination, contact a family doctor or a specialist from a regional medical facility. The pharmacy is equipped with a Starlink system and a generator. Also in this pharmacy people can get medicine for free under the program of medical guarantees.

In Izyum, an emergency medical assistance unit has been opened. The government and people of Poland helped with opening of such a first-aid unit. A modular house has been installed to accommodate Izyum emergency health care workers. It is equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable stay of paramedics: heating, electricity, shower and toilet rooms, a lounge, etc.

08-11-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Russian occupiers, fleeing from Izium, forgot the folder with secret documents. They contain information about how the “implementation” of Russian education in Kharkiv region was supposed to take place. According to the occupiers’ plans, Ukrainian schoolchildren on completion of the grade 11 were to receive Russian school leaving certificates issued by the Belgorod region. In addition, Russian teachers, in particular “teachers of history and literature” were to be brought to the region to introduce “patriotic education”. At the same time, Ukrainian schoolchildren had to focus only on universities in the Belgorod region.

Before the full-scale invasion an agricultural farm in Kharkiv region produced 40 tons of milk every day. It was one of the most advanced technological farms in Kharkiv region and in Ukraine in general, with the newest machinery, up-to-date technologies, especially in the sphere of laying-in of fodder and animal fertilisation.

After the so-called “management” of the occupiers, most of the cows died at the enterprise. Animal boxes were broken by shelling, equipment was stolen and mutilated. But in spite of all the destruction and losses, the farm resumed its work in October. Carcasses of dead animals were scattered throughout the farm. In total, farmers have lost 2,000 cows – this is more than half of the livestock. Cows died from injuries caused by shell fragments, mine explosions or by being trapped under rubble. The production of the agricultural farm began to be restored in October. Now there are about a thousand cows here. Several calves were born. There is still no light here, and most animal boxes are destroyed. But the survived boxes are being prepared for wintering.

From now on, the municipal enterprise and animal rights activists will jointly sterilise animals, put a clip and tattoo, vaccinate against rabies, enter data into a single municipal register and return to the place of catch under the care of volunteers or caring people with whom a contract of responsible maintenance of a homeless animal will be concluded. Previously, animals were caught, placed in a shelter and a new owner for them was looked for, but, of course, there was not enough space for everyone. Last year, the legislation changed, according to which animals can stay on the street, but they must be registered, have no ability to reproduce (be sterilised) and they should have a guardian responsible for their wellbeing and behaviour. The use of euthanasia of homeless animals is prohibited by law, so measures should be taken for the peaceful coexistence of people and animals in the city.

01-11-2022 Kharkiv during the war

On October 31, in the morning, the Russians launched missile strikes at Kharkiv. According to preliminary data, these were S-300 missiles that were launched from Belgorod. Critical infrastructure facilities are damaged. The lack of power supply has caused problems with water and heat supply, but power engineers and utility workers are doing everything possible to resume water supply to Kharkiv houses as soon as possible.

Kharkiv has changed a lot, many citizens have returned, businesses and cafes have begun to open. But everything depends on the district of the city. If we are talking about the centre, it’s one thing, and if we mean Saltovka, especially Severnaya, which was heavily shelled at the beginning of the Russian invasion and in the following months, there is an extremely difficult situation with very few people living there. But in general life returns to Kharkiv, although it is clear that the city is wounded, missile attacks have not stopped. Yes, fortunately, they do not happen every day anymore, but a day, two or three passes, and missile strikes hit the city again.

Houses damaged as a result of Russian occupation troops strikes are being restored and reconstructed in different districts of Kharkiv. Communication systems are sometimes not only repaired, but also modernised. Windows in Kharkiv are now mostly covered with plates and not with polyethylene film because of the cold weather.

25-10-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Near Kharkiv, rescue workers organised a landfill, where parts of the shells fired by the invaders at the city are collected. In total, there are about five thousand units of deadly weapons fired by Russia at the civilian population of the city in that shell landfill. The Russians literally showered the city with shells, including prohibited weapons, which killed and injured a significant number of civilians while exploding.

Doctors and rescue workers of the Kharkiv region were given 1000 protective suits. These suits protect against chemical, radiation and biological threats. 700 sets were handed over to doctors, and 300 sets were given to rescue workers. Benefactors from Germany and the United States of America, as well as donors from the UK, promise to continue to support the Kharkiv region. They plan to hand over sets of military uniforms.

Kharkiv volunteers weave camouflage nets made of Russian military uniforms. The material is brought to them by Ukrainian defenders. Volunteers chop them with an axe to make it easier to cut strips further and call it “therapy”.

After eight months of the war, Kharkiv is turning into a city without business. Business activity in Kharkiv fell by more than 60% during the war (data from the European Business Association). Large enterprises have either lost their workshops due to shelling or moved to other areas or abroad, small and medium-sized enterprises cannot obtain credit and have lost employees.

Every third entrepreneur left Kharkiv, and half either stopped their activities or experience big problems with sales — that is, they work with losses. The top problem is security, its solution depends on whether we win the war. The second problem is a drop in purchasing power of the population, disruption of logistics, lack of opportunity to attract personnel which left the city. Businesses demand that the government simplifies all bureaucratic procedures for starting and running a business, abolishes or minimises all city taxes.

18-10-2022 Kharkiv during the war

On the morning of October 18, Russian invaders shelled Kharkiv. There were two series of explosions in the city in five minutes. In Kharkiv, Russian troops destroyed warehouses with humanitarian aid with a missile strike from Belgorod this morning.

Despite all the attempts of the Russian military to destroy the Kharkiv region, the main vital infrastructure in the territories liberated from the invaders is being restored at a fairly high pace. To date, more than 60% of the de-occupied territories have restored power supply. Work continues to prepare the region for the heating period. Where possible, specialists are restoring housing stock and preparing infrastructure for low temperatures.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered generators to healthcare facilities. It is reported that the power of the generators is sufficient to provide electricity, and therefore ensure uninterrupted water and heat supply. Enemy troops are cynically firing at critical infrastructure, so generators are essential to ensure a comfortable life for the residents of Kharkiv and the region.

Ukrainian military and police find Russian occupiers in the forests of the Kharkiv region almost every day. Due to hunger, they go to settlements, where they are detained. And in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, they replenish the exchange fund of prisoners of war.

An analysis of the contents of the backpack of a Russian paramedic was carried out, from which it became clear that no one was going to save the Russians on the battlefield. It is designed for 50 people, but there are only 2 Esmarch tourniquets in it. For one person, you need twice as many as in the backpack of a paramedic for 50 people. Therefore, analyzing the contents of the paramedic’s backpack, we can conclude that the Russians will die if they are wounded. They will have nothing to provide medical care and stop heavy bleeding.

11-10-2022 Kharkiv during the war

As a result of a massive enemy missile strike on Kharkiv on the morning of October 10, the city’s electricity and water supply was disrupted. After the shelling of the critical infrastructure that ensures the proper functioning of all the city systems, Kharkiv was completely deenergised, there was no electricity and water supply. The subway worked as a shelter. Now the water supply is uninterrupted, but in the case of power outages there might be restrictions and interruption of water supply.
37 more children deported by the rashists returned home. At the end of August, the children were forcibly taken out of Kharkiv region to Russia, despite the fact that all of them have parents. The children have returned to their parents. Families are already reunited and are in a safe place in Transcarpathia. International humanitarian organisations helped by providing essential goods.
New evidence of the Russian genocide against Ukrainians is found on the liberated territory of Kharkiv region. The Russian army was in Kharkiv region for more than 5 months. And during that time, the occupiers didn’t even try to do anything for people. What they did was destroy, loot, take away, they left behind devastated villages, and some of them do not have a single surviving house. The occupiers turned schools into garbage dumpsters. The churches are broken, literally turned into toilets. The world must see this destruction, feel the pain that Russia has brought to Ukrainians. Law enforcement officers are already documenting evidences of murder, torture, kidnapping by the occupiers.
In the liberated city of Izyum, Kharkiv region, exhumation from the mass grave of residents killed by the occupiers is completed – a total of 447 bodies were exhumed, including 215 women and 5 children. Most of the victims have signs of violent death and 30 have signs of torture. There are bodies with ropes around their necks, with tied hands, broken limbs and gunshot wounds. Several men have genitals amputated.

04-10-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The reconstruction of Kharkiv after the Russian aggression under martial law will be discussed at the 83rd session of UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management. There will be a separate panel dedicated to Kharkiv at the Committee session. The Master Plan for the Development of the City of Kharkiv will be presented at the Committee, this plan is being developed by British architects headed by Norman Foster, who will also take part in the meeting. The master plan will, first of all, clearly outline a new approach to the economy of Kharkiv. Industrial parks and IT clusters will be created to make Kharkiv a self-sufficient, strong and economically independent city, as it was before the war. The master plan will include residential development, new commercial and administrative buildings.

Branches of the municipal enterprise “Kharkiv Heating Networks” are ready to start a new heating season in hospitals and maternity hospitals. So, if necessary, the heating will be turned on ahead of schedule. Now all necessary measures are being taken to prevent coolant leaks and save heat energy, quickly identify weaknesses in the system and eliminate possible defects.

One of the main conditions for the return of residents to the deoccupied settlements is demining and general cleaning of territories. First, the liberated territory is inspected by pyrotechnics, then road service specialists begin to work. After that volunteers, doctors, utility workers can go there and deliver humanitarian aid to people who have been under occupation for months. In Kharkiv region, road clearing has been going on since mid-September. During this time, representatives of various services cleared 312 km of roads of national importance and municipal streets of Izyum and Balakliya.

27-09-2022 Kharkiv during the war

In Kharkiv region, Russian soldiers lived in one of the rural schools during the occupation. Prosecutors have shown and recorded what the educational institution looks like after the temporary occupation. The occupiers turned the school where little Ukrainians studied into a dump and weapons storage. Mud, ammunition, remnants of Russian rations and bottles of alcohol were all over the place.

Representatives of the Red Cross reported their readiness to provide financial assistance to four thousand households, which became victims of the shelling. The money will be used to repair, install windows and pay for other works. The Red Cross also works closely with Kharkiv Heating Networks. Assistance to Kharkiv will continue.

There are problems with access to medical services in the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv region, because health care facilities have been damaged or completely destroyed in all communities. In Balakliya, where previously 46,000 residents lived, and now about 15,000 remained, there are five doctors left in the hospital. The hospital was mined and damaged, the equipment was destroyed and looted, so they have to work in specially adapted rooms. Three doctors work at the primary level, while there were 25 of them before the occupation. The community in Shevchenkove settlement needs outpatient doctors, but they have enough specialized doctors. There is a difficult situation with access to medical care in Izium. In fact, the hospital has been severely damaged and cannot function properly.

In general, there are problems with access to full medical treatment in each of the liberated communities. Emergency medical teams and disaster medical assistance teams help in some places. First of all, medical care is provided to low-mobility groups of the population and people with chronic diseases. Additional disaster medical assistance teams are involved. Also, the necessary medicines are already being delivered to the region.

20-09-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The regional prosecutor’s office reported that 55 children died at the hands of Russians in Kharkiv region since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Another 171 children had injuries of varying severity. According to the law enforcement officers, 253 educational institutions, including 132 schools, were damaged as a result of constant shelling and missile strikes on the civil infrastructure of Kharkiv. 21 educational institutions have been completely destroyed. Lack of morality, genocide, terror, murder of children are synonyms that reflect the essence of the Russian army. Fighting with the youngest citizens of Ukraine is how the servicemen of the aggressor country position themselves.

On September 15 in Izium, the city in Kharkiv region,a mass grave was found. The bodies were found in the forest near the city cemetery. The exhumation began on September 16. Most of the 146 bodies withdrawn as of September 19 are civilians, including two children. Some of the dead have signs of violent death, there are bodies with their arms tied and signs of torture. The dead also have mine-explosive injuries, fragment and stab wounds.

In Kharkiv region, as a result of the armed aggression of Russia, according to preliminary data, 166 health care facilities were damaged and seven more were completely destroyed. For more than 7 months, our doctors in the occupation did the impossible – under the shelling and constant threats they continued to save the lives and health of Ukrainians. All this time, the Russians deliberately destroyed and struck our medical system as much as possible. They destroyed the walls, disfigured our hospitals, but, fortunately, we managed to preserve the most valuable – our people.

For each health care facility an assessment of the damage caused by the enemy is carried out. Shells and missiles of the Russian army destroyed significantly the medical infrastructure in Kharkiv region, in addition the invaders removed expensive equipment, medicines and consumables from hospitals.

13-09-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have inflicted a major operational defeat on Russia, recapturing almost the entire Kharkiv region in a rapid counteroffensive. Ukrainian troops liberated from the occupiers more than 300 settlements in Kharkiv region. The operation to liberate Kharkiv region lasted several days. From September 6 to the present day, 3,800 square kilometres have been liberated, more than 300 settlements and about 150,000 of our people have become free from the occupation, where they were actually hostages.
However, the Russians obviously cannot accept such humiliation and continue to terrorise civilians, launching attacks against, among other objects, critical infrastructure facilities, to leave peaceful Ukrainians without light and heat. The enemy hit the local thermal power plant – the fire was visible from all parts of the city. All night, the firefighters struggled to overcome the consequences of the strike together with power engineers and utility workers. Many transformer substations were attacked by the aggressor with missile strikes, there were dead and wounded people.
By the morning, electricity was restored in almost all districts of the city. Electric transport and subway started working. In districts where there were power outages buses were launched. However, water supplies could not be resumed.
In the afternoon, the enemy launched a second attack on Kharkiv. This time, the Hurricane rocket systems fired on the city. The electricity disappeared again, the restoration of water supply was also delayed. The occupiers hit the residential neighbourhoods. One person was killed and six others were injured.
What the Russian aggressor is doing today is leading a war against the population of Kharkiv, a war of annihilation, because bombing transformer substations was not accidental, it was done so that Kharkiv was left without utilities.

06-09-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Due to the shelling in Kharkiv, more than 4,000 residential buildings, 110 schools, more than 100 kindergartens, more than 50 health care institutions and hundreds of other administrative and nonresidential buildings were destroyed to varying degrees.
30% of the housing stock has been destroyed to some extent. 150,000 Kharkiv citizens are left without apartments today, without housing. Some people have left, some have fled Ukraine, and some are in other areas where the situation is safer today. But many Kharkiv residents remain in the city, in areas that are less susceptible to shelling.
All people who are in the city use trolleybuses, trams, municipal buses and subways free of charge. There are pharmacies, supermarkets, markets in Kharkiv, part of the business operates – some cafes, small coffee shops, restaurants.
The enemy is purposefully destroying the heat supply system. There’s a heating season ahead and cold weather. Recent shelling shows that the aggressors are purposefully bombing the infrastructure of “Kharkiv Heating Networks” – Heat and Power Plant, boiler houses, heating mains. And a lot depends on how the city prepares for the heating season, how it will act during the shelling in the autumn-winter period. Representatives of foreign funds plan to provide Kharkiv with thermal appliances and fuel for them, assist in replacing windows and doors, as well as help with the maintenance of collective centres for internally displaced persons.
In Ukraine, 500 episodes of Russia’s war crimes against Ukrainian cultural heritage were recorded. Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine 30 museums have been destroyed to varying degrees in Kharkiv.

31-08-2022 Kharkiv during the war
Using Kharkiv as an example, the Russian military demonstrate that they can also hit other cities, including the capital of Ukraine. Russia undertook the task to strike the main decision-making centres. But instead of Kyiv, they decided to apply this approach to Kharkiv. Kharkiv is a political centre, the most powerful technological and military centre and, of course, one of the symbols of Ukraine as the second largest city, the second capital of Ukraine. There are two options. On the one hand, to suppress all resistance centres in such an important city as Kharkiv, to sow panic. In addition, to destroy industry and especially important defence plants of Ukraine.
Analysts predict Ukraine’s post-war startup boom. New solutions in the fields of defence and cybersecurity, construction and infrastructure, health and medicine, education, as well as the agricultural sector and green technologies are expected to be the most popular. These are startups that produce drones, software, cybersecurity products. Thanks to military technology, we can strengthen our defenders on the battlefield, hold the technological front, defend and counterattack. The priority is everything that will help minimise human casualties among our military personnel and win the war. Ukraine definitely has a chance to take a leading position in the field of military-tech with insane motivation and incredible human resources.
New construction technologies will be in demand in Ukraine – in connection with the enormous destruction of housing and civil infrastructure as a result of Russian aggression. There is a chance to rebuild what Ukraine got as its outdated Soviet heritage. And Ukrainian startups can definitely become an important part of this process.
Educational technologies have been important since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the evacuation of many Ukrainians has made such platforms even more popular. Technologies in the field of health and medicine also began to develop rapidly in the pre-war period – and now applications aimed at providing first aid have been in demand.

24-08-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Kharkiv celebrates City Day on August 23. Since the first days of the war, the Hero City of Ukraine has been under fire, but firmly holds the line of defence and continues to live.

Kharkiv turned 368 this year. The main city holiday coincides with the Day of the National Flag and the Day of Liberation from the Nazi invaders. Now Kharkiv is again forced to fight with the occupiers, but this time with the Russian ones. Because of the war today Kharkiv citizens will not be able to celebrate City Day as before.

Since the first day of the Russian invasion, Kharkiv has been attacked with missiles, its infrastructure and cultural monuments have been destroyed. Russian troops planned to quickly capture the city, but all their attempts failed.

On March 6, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Kharkiv the title “Hero City of Ukraine” for the heroic deeds and mass heroism of citizens in response to the Russian aggression.

At the beginning of the war, Kharkiv was bombarded by air bombs, shelled with Iskander, Calibre missiles, by multiple rocket launchers and artillery. During all six months of the war the aggressor’s troops continue daily attacks.

There is a lot of destruction in all districts of Kharkiv. Severnaya Saltovka, where about 300 000 people lived before the war, suffered the most. Now more than 70% of highrise buildings there are uninhabitable.

Trams on many routes have stopped working in the city. Depots and tram parks are constantly shelled.

Kharkiv public transport is now functioning, travel in it remains free. The subway has resumed its work, but continues to serve as a shelter in case of an air alarm.

Kharkiv is called the student capital of Ukraine – more than 30 universities are located here. The missiles damaged the buildings of many educational institutions. Karazin Kharkiv National University, the second oldest university in Ukraine after Lviv National University, suffered severely from the shelling.

Kharkiv is preparing for the school year, but schools will only work remotely. The same on-line format of education was chosen by universities.

17-08-2022 Kharkiv during the war

More than 10 missiles were launched: at night the occupiers shelled Kharkiv and the region from the territory of Belgorod. As a result of the enemy’s missile attack, private houses, outbuildings, industrial and infrastructure facilities were damaged. Three civilians were hospitalised with injuries. The premises of the educational institution were damaged in Zolochev.
Active combat operations continue along the contact line, the enemy uses artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, tanks, aviation.
In Kharkiv region, 10% of parents and 9% of teachers believe that education can be offline. That is the lowest figure in Ukraine. One of the fundamental conditions for the return of educational institutions to offline education, according to both teachers and parents, is a reliable shelter in the school premises and compliance with security measures. According to the results of the survey, distance learning in Kharkiv region is supported by 67% of parents, 27% found it difficult to answer, while 72% of teachers also support online studies and 19% found it difficult to answer.
Residents of Kharkiv and the region with complex mine blast and burn injuries, oncological pathology, as well as people with diseases that require a complex specialised treatment can go to the EU countries or the Lviv region for medical treatment. To get this opportunity, they should consult a family doctor or apply for medical evacuation. An application form must be filled in, specifying the place of residence, passport details, diagnosis, and a scan of the summary of the medical record should be added.
During the full-scale invasion of Russia 160 patients from Kharkiv region went for rehabilitation and treatment to the EU countries and Lviv region. 101 people are being treated in Lviv region, another 59 patients, including 11 children, are undergoing rehabilitation in clinics in Germany, Poland, Italy, France and Spain. Referral of patients is made by specialists of regional and city medical institutions, as well as representatives of Medecins Sans Frontieres.

10-08-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Since the beginning of a full-scale war more than 1000 civilians have been killed and twice as many injured in Kharkiv and Kharkiv region as a result of the actions of the Russian occupiers. Among those killed are 50 children. The smallest victim of the aggressor’s actions is a 5-month-old baby. The aggressor state terrorises and kills civilians.

Kharkiv receives humanitarian aid from international partners. Sister cities and international partners continue to provide assistance to Kharkiv residents. The cities of Kiel (Germany) and Strasbourg (France) have sent medicines, hygiene products, sheets, sleeping bags, crutches and wheelchairs to Kharkiv.

Another cargo was received from the city of Poznan (Poland), which included 33 pallets with hygiene products, medicines, light sources, batteries, power banks and food collected by the Poznan Youth Council. Also 33 pallets with food and hygiene products were sent to Kharkiv citizens from Genoa (Italy). In addition, more than 20 thousand packages of medicines for various purposes were handed over to Kharkiv citizens by the Association of Medical and Charitable Assistance “France-Ukraine”.

The enemy deliberately shells Kharkiv heating and power plants to cause problems with the beginning of the heating season. There is significant damage, but everything is done to repair it. Kharkiv will be supplied with heat from different sources. In addition, coal and gas will be provided.

Ukrainians can download a new mobile mine safety application “MineFree”. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, everyone who installs it will have the opportunity to see the map, on which potentially dangerous territories are marked; receive notification in case of approaching a dangerous object; familiarise oneself with the handbook, which contains a photo and description of explosive objects; report on the detection of explosive or suspicious objects.

03-08-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Despite the fact that Kharkiv is subjected to missile strikes and artillery shelling by the Russian army on a daily basis, local residents do not lose heart. Helpless old people are, of course, in the most difficult situation, but during the war they found their kindred spirits. Not by blood, by heart call. As locals bitterly and proudly say, now Kharkiv has become the “capital of care and mutual assistance”.

Russia strikes Kharkiv every day – and you can only dream of a normal sleep, as well as of a forgotten sense of security. However, the locals believe in the best, that our army will cope with this horde. In the meantime, they help both our soldiers and their neighbours.

The Russian occupiers, despite numerous failures, hope that they will be able to capture Kharkiv. The enemy continues to shell residential neighbourhoods and tries to move towards the city. Because of the failures they decided to wipe the city off the face of the earth.

Despite this, many locals remain in the city and the region. They live even in almost completely destroyed houses, cook their own food on fires, and go to the springs for water.

The city continues to improve people’s lives to make them comfortable even in such a difficult situation. In particular, Kharkiv is actively preparing for the heating season, main pipelines are being laid, utility service providers are working normally. Metro and public transport also function, shops try not to stop working. Because of the war, public transport runs free of charge so that every resident of the city can use it.

26-07-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Kharkiv is under constant shelling and is hit by Russian missiles almost every day. But despite the difficult situation, all municipal service centres, public transport, supermarkets and pharmacies continue to work. In addition, the city is now preparing for the heating season.
In the last month shelling has increased. If at the end of June the Russians hit Kharkiv mainly at night, now they resumed chaotic strikes on public transport stops, targeted at random passers-by, including children. Educational institutions have been among other targets of the Russians. The sports complex of Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, pedagogical university, schools in all districts of the city suffered from such strikes.
It seems that the shelling with a large number of victims is the main goal of Russian attacks on Kharkiv. Over the past week, the Russians have been shelling the city in the middle of the day, aiming at places where there would be as many victims as possible. They use cluster munitions, which fragments are dispersed in different directions.
There was a period when Kharkiv was not shelled for five days. And immediately a lot of small and medium-sized businesses and industrial enterprises began to open. But, unfortunately, the shelling continued, because the Russian aggressor was not satisfied that Kharkiv began to restart its activities. And as a result, people now cannot work, receive wages, buy food, medicines, essential goods.
Safe stops for public transport will be installed in Kharkiv within 2-3 weeks. The first 25 places where they will be installed have already been identified – on the busiest routes of trolleybuses, buses and trams. These will be reinforced concrete structures located next to the stopping pavilions. In the event of a threat of artillery shelling, it will be possible to hide there and wait out the air raid alarm. Such shelters exist in Israel, for example. And they prove to be effective in protecting against shells and scattering of fragments.

19-07-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Since the beginning of the war, Russian occupiers have destroyed 110 schools in Kharkiv, 50 medical institutions and 60 kindergartens. There are 150,000 Kharkiv citizens left without apartments today. Residents whose housing was destroyed were resettled in dormitories and schools, but the occupiers are shelling them.
Kharkiv district Saltovka has become one of the centres constantly hit by Russian troops. Among the ruins, the inhabitants continue to survive there. With the beginning of a full-scale war, life on Saltovka turned into a lottery: one house is hit, another not. One apartment turned into ashes, the next one turned out to be intact. There are fewer and fewer surviving buildings every month. Now Saltovka has become a ghost town.
Locals have already learned to recognise by sound and fragments which shells and missiles are being fired. The Russian Federation widely uses prohibited cluster munitions and unguided missiles. And yet people live here, in houses without gas and water, in some places only one or two tenants in a house of 60 or more apartments. Last week, in some houses electricity was turned on again, several people returned there from subway stations or other shelters. But it is still a negligible part of the pre-war population of Saltovka, which used to be from 500 to 800 thousand inhabitants.
The Russians tried to capture Kharkiv in the first days of the invasion, and Saltovka assumed the main burden of the assault. Eventually, the invaders were pushed back, and now the front line runs about 20 km from the city centre. But Saltovka remains within the reach of Russian artillery, and this reality cannot be ignored due to daily shelling.
Due to the severe stress caused by the war, there is an increase in premature birth in Ukraine. That is why the need to replenish the fleet of special neonatal reanimobiles has increased. In Kharkiv region, since the beginning of the war, 28 boys and girls aged from several hours from birth to one month have been transported in incubators to provide qualified assistance in specialised medical institutions. Neonatal reanimobiles equipped with children’s incubators are used for this purpose. Such neonatal reanimobiles save lives. It is essential to have more of them.

12-07-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Since the first day of the war, Kharkiv has been shelled by the occupiers. The city is under attack at any time of the day. The last shelling was on the night of July 12.

In Kharkiv, Russian troops destroyed a school, warehouse and a residential high-rise building. And at 10 a.m. on July 11, the city was shelled from multiple launch rocket systems. Six civilians were killed, another three dozen people were injured, including two children. According to the latest information, thirty-one civilians were wounded during the morning shelling. And the information about the condition of two children is already known. It’s a 4-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. Both have shrapnel wounds. Another 29 wounded are also in hospital, they have explosive injuries and shrapnel wounds.

According to the police, the Russians shelled Kharkiv with “Smerch” rocket launcher. At least 10 rockets were fired at random in the Kyiv district. And this once again confirms that the rushists are just trying to destroy the city. After all, there are no military facilities at the site of the shelling. The shopping centre, garages and a tire fitting station were destroyed. Eight people were injured in the latter, a car was passing by – it was also hit by a shell, a driver and a passenger died on the spot.

The private sector is also targeted. Several shells hit near residential buildings – several houses were burned down. The people tried their best to escape. But not everyone survived.

Now the shelling is carried out several times a day. At the moment, there is no neighbourhood in the city that is safe.

In the afternoon of July 12, Russian troops once again attacked Kharkiv, the attacks occurred in the Industrial district of the city – as a result, four victims.

But despite such an alarming situation, the life in Kharkiv goes on. Supermarkets are open, as well as pharmacies and markets, public transport runs.

05-07-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Missile strikes in Kharkiv do not stop. The day before, the occupiers fired more than fifty ballistic missiles from Belgorod. This morning around 4 am Kharkiv was hit again twice. As a result of these missile strikes, a school in Shevchenkovsky district of the city was partially destroyed.

In the north of the regional centre, Russians from time to time try to attack with infantry. The locals have heard an echo of the artillery cannonade almost around the clock for the past few days.

In Novobavarsky district, a Russian missile flew and exploded between a private house and a school. The local resident was injured. A minute before that, a whole series of explosions occurred in the Kyiv district of Kharkiv. At a distance of no more than a dozen metres from each other within a few minutes, around 5 am, four missiles exploded here at once.

The blast wave threw a heavy metal safe like a piece of paper into the sky, and then dropped it on the edge of one of the funnels. Transport and surrounding buildings were damaged by missile fragments. Small fragments dispersed over a few hundred metres from the hit site. Grad rocket launchers were used again in the afternoon to the north of Kharkiv. As a result, there are a lot of funnels in people’s gardens.

Throughout the past week, in different areas around Kharkiv, especially along the highway to Belgorod, the Russian occupiers tried to approach the regional centre again. From morning to evening, the invaders use artillery, tanks and mortars. From time to time, infantry tries to launch an assault. And every time they come across a wall of fire from Ukrainian infantry and artillerymen.

As of today, 164 primary and secondary (specialised) medical care institutions operate in the territory controlled by Ukraine in Kharkiv region, namely: 47 medical institutions of regional subordination, 68 city hospitals, 20 central district hospitals, 29 primary health care centres, outpatient clinics and paramedic and obstetric stations.

Despite regular air alarms and a permanent risk of missiles, all medical institutions in the region work as usual, as they worked before the imposition of martial law.

Before the war, about 9000 doctors and about 16000 junior specialists worked in health care institutions of Kharkiv region. To date, about 15000 healthcare workers work in the region.

All medical facilities are now provided with all necessary medicines. It became possible as a result of renewal of medical supplies and humanitarian aid from our European partners.

There were problems with the pharmacy chains in the first days of the war, when ordinary pharmacists also saved their families and did not know how to go to work when cities were bombed. However, they coped with this challenge with dignity and now pharmacies are working.

29-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are controlling the situation, there is no threat of ground combat operations in Kharkiv yet. The enemy forces are not enough to break through the defense. The defenders are under constant fire, the occupiers made attempts to break through, in particular, recently there has been such an attempt in the northern direction. However, the enemy did not succeed.

The war has changed Kharkiv a lot, many residents have left the city, but at the same time many people, despite the constant shelling, are returning.

The city is completely different now. It’s so semi-empty, even though many residents have returned. And there are a lot of destroyed houses, it immediately catches the eye. Of course, it doesn’t resemble the former Kharkiv. But it turned out that Kharkiv citizens love their city very much. This is some kind of very ardent and very pinching love, and people come back not even because they count on pre-war comfort, but because they want to be here. In their homes, on their streets. It turned out that Kharkiv citizens are actually very attached to their city.

When the intensity of shelling in Kharkiv decreased in May, people began to return home en masse, but now the situation is again turbulent. People who spent the first two months somewhere in safer places and returned here hoped to see that it is safe in Kharkiv now. But it’s not safe here. And it’s clear that people again face a choice: to leave again or stay here? And this choice is actually very difficult.

Despite constant shelling and danger, Kharkiv citizens try not to use the word “war” or talk about it in private conversations. That is, it is present, everyone feels it, because the siren sounds almost every hour, and in the evening – every half hour, but this word is not used here by default. It is here, but people try not to use the words “war,” “shelling” without necessity. They try to talk about something private and routine.

21-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

At the moment, the main efforts of Russian troops are focused on preserving the occupied borders in Kharkiv region. The occupiers are trying to prevent our units from gaining the rear of the Russian group of troops operating in the direction of Slavyansk. In addition, the invaders continue daily shelling of civil infrastructure in Kharkiv region.
The occupiers are again shelling residential areas of Kharkiv and unleashing terror against civilians. The enemy shelled the Industrial district of Kharkiv in the afternoon of June 21, according to preliminary data, seven people were injured.
In the past two weeks, shelling in the regional centre has sharply increased. On June 20, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his speech at the Global Policy Forum of the Institute of International Political Studies that the Russian army was trying to gather forces to attack Kharkiv again.
COVID-19 vaccination centres continue to work in city polyclinics. According to the mayor’s office, medical institutions have sufficient supplies of “CoronaVac” vaccine and limited supplies of “Pfizer” vaccine.
The Department of Health urged Kharkiv citizens not to forget about vaccination, because in wartime the risk of developing and spreading infectious diseases increases. The most vulnerable are children and adults who have not been vaccinated at all or have not been revaccinated in time.
According to the laboratory centre, over the past 24 hours, 7 cases of coronavirus have been registered in the region, 2 of them in Kharkiv, 3 in Kharkiv district, 2 in Izyum district. A total of 307,478 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the region since the beginning of the pandemic, 7,062 of which have become fatal.

14-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

According to the information available on June 14, the hostilities near Kharkiv will intensify, while the Russian army achieves small successes. Its goal is to return artillery to positions that allow direct fire at the city’s targets. After the Armed Forces of Ukraine pushed back the Russian military almost to the border, shelling is possible only with the help of aircraft and missiles.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International reported on the use of cluster munitions by Russians while shelling Kharkiv. And it happened more than once. One of the shellings occurred in mid-April near the Kharkiv Tractor Plant, when a playground came under fire.

Russian forces have repeatedly carried out devastating and indiscriminate strikes using cluster bombs, prohibited by the international community, on populated residential areas, killing and wounding dozens of civilians. As a result of shelling, men, women and children were killed and injured in their homes and streets, playgrounds and cemeteries, standing in line for humanitarian aid or buying food.

At least nine civilians were killed and more than 35 wounded, including several children, when Russian forces used cluster munitions at Mira Street and around it in the Industrial district southeast of the city centre. This happened in the afternoon of April 15, and as a result an area of more than 700 square metres was covered. Doctors of the city clinical hospital No. 25 reported that 31 wounded were taken to hospital, two of whom died of wounds, seven more people died on the spot. It is reported that several wounded civilians were taken to other hospitals.

Since the beginning of the war, 43 higher education institutions in Ukraine have been damaged as a result of shelling by Russian occupiers, five of them have been completely destroyed. The occupiers destroy auditoriums, equipment, gyms, dormitories, assembly halls. Despite the war, universities were able to resume the educational process.

For example, the staff of V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, despite the terrible shelling that destroyed the buildings of the institution, managed to resume the educational process and student activities. The University continues to maintain high positions among Ukrainian higher education institutions in international rankings.

08-06-22 Kharkiv during the war

Empty streets, destroyed buildings, asphalt cut by shells – this is what the centre of Kharkiv looks like today. There are still sounds of explosions in Kharkiv, there are almost no passersby on the streets of the historical centre, and only a dozen citizens in the park.

In the legendary 108-metre Gosprom, an explosive wave partially knocked out the windows. They are countless here – with a total area of 50 thousand square metres. It was the first skyscraper in Europe built of monolithic reinforced concrete in record time – from 1925 to 1928.

Since February 24, the enemy has destroyed more than 2,000 residential buildings in Kharkiv, 500 of which cannot be restored. As of June 6, 810 residents died as a result of the war in Kharkiv region. 39 children have died since the beginning of the war.

Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, the invaders have destroyed 105 health care institutions. The medical infrastructure of Donetsk region was affected the most – 74 medical institutions were destroyed in the region.

Two types of attacks on medical facilities are recorded. Aimed and indiscriminate, when a medical institution is not a target, but the territory on which it is located is shelled from different types of weapons. According to the Geneva Convention of 1949, both the first and second types are war crimes.

The belligerents must avoid destroying civil infrastructure. And hospitals in the mentioned convention are listed separately as a special type of civil infrastructure. First of all, a hospital is an object of increased humanitarian importance. Secondly, it is impossible to stop the work of a hospital during the war, even if hostilities are taking place. Most often, the Russian military use the tactics of massive, carpet shelling of territories, where civilians live and where the majority of hospitals are located.

01-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Russians continue to shell Kharkiv infrastructure with multiple rocket launchers. The enemy struck the Kyiv district of the city, as a result of which the apartment building and a car of rescuers of the state emergency service were damaged.

Invaders are shelling from the north and north-eastern direction of Kharkiv region, while the armed forces of Ukraine hold their positions and constantly fight for every metre of our territory. They are really successful in pushing the enemy away from the city. It became a little quieter in Kharkiv, but it’s too early to be on the streets, as shells can fly anywhere in the city. Shelling is carried out from artillery, from multiple rocket launchers “Smerch” and “Hurricane”. Given the range of these rocket systems, the Russian Federation can even fire from its own territory.

Thus, during the shelling on May 26, the number of victims reached 9 people, another 19 were injured. Among the dead was a 5-month-old child. His body was not immediately found, it was on the house visor. An explosive wave tore the baby out of his father’s hands and threw him aside. The man died, the child’s mother is in a critical condition in the hospital. One of the dead was hiding from the shelling in the corridor of her apartment. The “two walls” rule in this case did not work — a fragment of a shell went through the walls. Among the 19 wounded there is a 9-year-old girl. She was operated on, but recovery from injury will take a long time.

Three employees of the Kharkiv Regional Centre for Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine were awarded honorary titles. The corresponding decree was signed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On March 20, Kharkiv regional military and civil administration sent a humanitarian convoy with food and medicines to Volchansk, captured by the Russians. The convoy was travelling along a pre-agreed route. The Russians promised to provide a green corridor, but did not keep their word.
The invaders stopped the cars at the entrance to Volchansk. Drivers and a doctor were held hostage at the recreation centre for almost a day. In the morning, all six were sent on foot in the direction of Kharkiv. The men walked six kilometres. At the Ukrainian checkpoint, they were met by soldiers, who handed them over to doctors for assistance. On the evening of March 21, they all returned to Kharkiv.

25-05-22 Kharkiv during the war

Ukraine’s armed forces cause damage to the enemy. Gradually they occupy strategic heights and counterattack. For two weeks our defenders liberated 23 settlements in Kharkiv region. However, the shelling of residential areas of Kharkiv continues.

As for the issues of restoring business activity, it is clear that as long as there is no security and confidence in the future, no one will plan any kind of systemic activity. Now it is difficult to predict ways of business activity recovery after the war.

The metro started working in Kharkiv for the first time since the beginning of the war. Some train carriages were damaged during the bombardments, so the city authorities are not able to operate all the trains. Thousands of people were hiding in the metro from Russian airstrikes. Over the past three days, about 200 people who lost their homes have been resettled.

Doctors of Kharkiv hospitals and outpatient clinics partially resume the reception of patients as well as the provision of certain diagnostic procedures. The fastest-recovering businesses are those providing services: small cafes, hairdressers, beauty salons. We already witness a revival in the service sector, because this sector is the fastest to recover. There are no complex operational processes there, there is no need for broad cooperative ties.

If we talk about priority areas, first of all, this is the production of essential goods and food, as well as services that the population needs during and after the war. This is a high-tech business in the defense sector – everything related to equipment and military weapons.

But the most important thing for a successful recovery of entrepreneurial activity is a sense of security. As soon as it becomes really safe, the business development of the city, region and local communities will begin.

17-05-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Ukrainian troops prevented the encirclement of Kharkiv and displaced the Russian military from its neighbourhood. In recent days, Russian troops near Kharkiv, with rare exceptions, have not tried to maintain their positions in the face of counterattacks by Ukrainian forces. Russian forces have focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal of their units, instead of trying to hold positions near the city.

For several days now, Russian troops have not been shelling Kharkiv at all. At the same time, air strikes in Kharkiv region continue. Retreating, the Russian military mine the territory of Kharkiv region. There are active hostilities there. The enemy is retreating. The retreat is accompanied by mining absolutely everything: residential buildings, forest belts, roadsides, using different technologies, including remote mining.

In Kharkiv, the only genetic plant bank in Ukraine was destroyed because of Russian shelling. It was one of the largest in the world and it survived World War II. However, the Russians burned it completely. More than 160,000 varieties and hybrids of plants from around the world were stored there. There have been only a few such banks in the world. The seeds were stored in special storage facilities. They were being prepared for sowing and since March the employees had to sow a collection of plants.

More than ten UN agencies are working on a master plan for the reconstruction of Ukrainian Kharkiv, which has been shelled by Russian troops for more than two months. Experts assume that Russia will be defeated.

The master plan is being developed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster. He believes that this is an opportunity to combine the legacy of the past with new technologies necessary to create the city of the future.

“This is an opportunity to make the city even more majestic in the future than it was in the past. This is an opportunity to make it more dynamic and more advanced in terms of trends, technology, industry – everything that makes the city beautiful,” Lord Foster said.

10-05-22 Kharkiv during the war

Kharkiv business is learning to work during the war. Despite shelling, coffee shops reopened, medical centres accept patients, hairdressers serve customers, and couriers deliver pizza under artillery shelling.
In the first weeks of the war in Kharkiv you could only buy food. Now each district is like a separate city: some do not even have grocery stores, which work, others have cafes, beauty salons and private clinics.
The market of cosmetology services is also coming to life. There are several salons and private cosmetologists in the city, where you can do almost any procedure – from depilation to Botox injections.
Kharkiv citizens have access not only to cosmetology, but also to large-scale medical procedures. There are several private clinics in the city with a wide range of services: from laboratory tests to removal of benign tumours.

Many potential clients of cafes, beauty salons and clinics cannot visit them yet. The reason is not only that people are unemployed and have no money to pay for services. Even those who have savings often cannot get out of their neighbourhood. Taxis are expensive, they are used only in case of emergency. Therefore, until public transport resumes its work in the city, most enterprises, large and small, will stand idle.
The city authorities call on entrepreneurs who evacuated from Kharkiv during the war not to wait long and return to the city. The city is already negotiating with international investors that will help restore Kharkiv’s economy. The mayor of Kharkiv recommended that entrepreneurs make arrangements for the future life in Kharkiv after the war: make plans, create business projects.

04-05-2022 Health care system of Ukraine under conditions of war

During the war, the Ukrainian health care system not only survived, but continues to develop. To date, our hospitals continue to carry out the most complex emergency operations, planned transplantations, the blood service is actively working.
The war has revealed weaknesses in all spheres of public administration, and medicine is no exception. One of the most painful lessons was the lack of full-fledged bomb shelters at medical institutions.
Basements, which with great reserve were called shelters, often turned into mass graves during massive shelling. The lack of an autonomous ventilation, water supply system and strong ceilings makes them unsuitable even as a shelter for healthy people. There is no need to talk about the long stay of seriously ill patients in need of therapy.
Now many hospitals located in cities without hostilities have already been equipped with basements. In case of emergency, doctors will even be able to perform operations there, but this is not the level necessary for full-fledged work. It will be necessary to work on it after the end of the war.
Also in the future, it is necessary to create and constantly monitor the reserve supplies of medicines and other necessary means, which at a critical moment were lacking in Ukrainian hospitals. And in connection with the threat of the use of chemical weapons, the issue of providing means of protection not only for military but also for civilians has become acute.
The same applies to vaccination. The long stay of a large number of people in confined spaces (basements, subways, shelters), as well as getting injured with subsequent infection, leads to the development of dangerous diseases affecting unvaccinated people. We need to return to a clear regulated vaccination calendar not only among children, but also among adults. This will protect citizens from possible consequences of natural or man-made disasters, as well as reduce risks during hostilities.
The system of remote access to medical care needs to be improved, as well as planning for emergencies. In such cases, the major hospitals throughout Ukraine should have a sufficient supply of medicines, the required number of beds and doctors ready to work in the event of force majeure.
In addition, medical facilities in towns most affected by the war should become a separate point in the post-war recovery of the health system.

The main challenge to the system after the end of the war will be the issue of medical personnel. The organisation of work at the local level will require new management decisions, which will not be restricted to the search for specialists. The latest technologies will have to be introduced to compensate for the shortage of personnel.

27-04-2022 – Health care system of Ukraine under conditions of war

The Ukrainian health care system was not exemplary even in peacetime. The war had every chance to destroy the system finally, but instead pushed the government and local experts to find effective solutions, thanks to which medicine in the country not only survived, but also continued to develop.
To date, 347 health care institutions have been damaged in Ukraine, 36 of them have been destroyed. In addition, 78 ambulances were destroyed.

Surviving hospitals often have no electricity and water supply, and if they are located in towns captured by the invaders, there are also no supplies of the necessary medicines. Doctors have to work on-site, replacing sterile operating rooms with basements and bomb shelters. In some towns, medical staff do not leave the hospital, which has become their second home, around the clock.
There is an outflow of medical personnel from areas of active hostilities. Most of the doctors in Ukraine, as well as around the world, are women, many of them have children. While fleeing from shelling, they were forced to evacuate to the western regions of the country or abroad. Among medical staff who remained, many were mobilised to help soldiers on the front line.
As a result, there are a number of towns and villages that are regularly bombed, without properly functioning hospitals and the necessary number of doctors. At the same time, most of the population living there today are elderly people who are in need of medical control of chronic diseases.
When the military administration encourages residents to evacuate, it is important to realise that this is done not only because of the direct threat to life due to shelling. Such decisions are made also on the basis of an assessment of the health situation in the region.

Access of citizens to medical care in the occupied territories is a big problem today. After capturing a town, the invaders are unable to meet the basic needs of the population either in terms of food or health care.
In those regions of Ukraine where there are no active hostilities, a number of steps have been taken for the normal functioning of medical institutions.

In particular:

  • When martial law is in effect, access to primary care is not connected with declarations, signed with family doctors. Citizens can contact any primary health care doctor or an outpatient clinic. Appointments to specialists are not tied to a medical institution either.
  • Patients with cancer are sent for treatment to other cities and regions and this process is devoid of a bureaucratic component. They don’t need to collect certificates and register at a new location.
  • The procurement system for hospitals has been simplified. Thanks to the well-coordinated work of the Ministry of Health and volunteers, medical institutions are equipped with both medicines and food in full, and sometimes beyond measure.
  • There are no problems with financing either. During the hostilities, the procedure was simplified by dividing the planned annual sum into 12 months, thus saving hospitals from unnecessary bureaucratic delays.
  •  Ukrainian military doctors have extensive experience in conducting complex operations and treating seriously wounded soldiers since 2014-2015. Knowing about such successful treatment, foreign doctors have come to Ukraine over the past 8 years to exchange experience.

Prof Oleksii Korzh
Head of the Department of General Practice-Family Medicine (Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education)

14-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

According to the information available on June 14, the hostilities near Kharkiv will intensify, while the Russian army achieves small successes. Its goal is to return artillery to positions that allow direct fire at the city’s targets. After the Armed Forces of Ukraine pushed back the Russian military almost to the border, shelling is possible only with the help of aircraft and missiles.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International reported on the use of cluster munitions by Russians while shelling Kharkiv. And it happened more than once. One of the shellings occurred in mid-April near the Kharkiv Tractor Plant, when a playground came under fire.

Russian forces have repeatedly carried out devastating and indiscriminate strikes using cluster bombs, prohibited by the international community, on populated residential areas, killing and wounding dozens of civilians. As a result of shelling, men, women and children were killed and injured in their homes and streets, playgrounds and cemeteries, standing in line for humanitarian aid or buying food.

At least nine civilians were killed and more than 35 wounded, including several children, when Russian forces used cluster munitions at Mira Street and around it in the Industrial district southeast of the city centre. This happened in the afternoon of April 15, and as a result an area of more than 700 square metres was covered. Doctors of the city clinical hospital No. 25 reported that 31 wounded were taken to hospital, two of whom died of wounds, seven more people died on the spot. It is reported that several wounded civilians were taken to other hospitals.

Since the beginning of the war, 43 higher education institutions in Ukraine have been damaged as a result of shelling by Russian occupiers, five of them have been completely destroyed. The occupiers destroy auditoriums, equipment, gyms, dormitories, assembly halls. Despite the war, universities were able to resume the educational process.

For example, the staff of V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, despite the terrible shelling that destroyed the buildings of the institution, managed to resume the educational process and student activities. The University continues to maintain high positions among Ukrainian higher education institutions in international rankings.

08-06-22 Kharkiv during the war

Empty streets, destroyed buildings, asphalt cut by shells – this is what the centre of Kharkiv looks like today. There are still sounds of explosions in Kharkiv, there are almost no passersby on the streets of the historical centre, and only a dozen citizens in the park.

In the legendary 108-metre Gosprom, an explosive wave partially knocked out the windows. They are countless here – with a total area of 50 thousand square metres. It was the first skyscraper in Europe built of monolithic reinforced concrete in record time – from 1925 to 1928.

Since February 24, the enemy has destroyed more than 2,000 residential buildings in Kharkiv, 500 of which cannot be restored. As of June 6, 810 residents died as a result of the war in Kharkiv region. 39 children have died since the beginning of the war.

Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, the invaders have destroyed 105 health care institutions. The medical infrastructure of Donetsk region was affected the most – 74 medical institutions were destroyed in the region.

Two types of attacks on medical facilities are recorded. Aimed and indiscriminate, when a medical institution is not a target, but the territory on which it is located is shelled from different types of weapons. According to the Geneva Convention of 1949, both the first and second types are war crimes.

The belligerents must avoid destroying civil infrastructure. And hospitals in the mentioned convention are listed separately as a special type of civil infrastructure. First of all, a hospital is an object of increased humanitarian importance. Secondly, it is impossible to stop the work of a hospital during the war, even if hostilities are taking place. Most often, the Russian military use the tactics of massive, carpet shelling of territories, where civilians live and where the majority of hospitals are located.

01-06-2022 Kharkiv during the war

The Russians continue to shell Kharkiv infrastructure with multiple rocket launchers. The enemy struck the Kyiv district of the city, as a result of which the apartment building and a car of rescuers of the state emergency service were damaged.

Invaders are shelling from the north and north-eastern direction of Kharkiv region, while the armed forces of Ukraine hold their positions and constantly fight for every metre of our territory. They are really successful in pushing the enemy away from the city. It became a little quieter in Kharkiv, but it’s too early to be on the streets, as shells can fly anywhere in the city. Shelling is carried out from artillery, from multiple rocket launchers “Smerch” and “Hurricane”. Given the range of these rocket systems, the Russian Federation can even fire from its own territory.

Thus, during the shelling on May 26, the number of victims reached 9 people, another 19 were injured. Among the dead was a 5-month-old child. His body was not immediately found, it was on the house visor. An explosive wave tore the baby out of his father’s hands and threw him aside. The man died, the child’s mother is in a critical condition in the hospital. One of the dead was hiding from the shelling in the corridor of her apartment. The “two walls” rule in this case did not work — a fragment of a shell went through the walls. Among the 19 wounded there is a 9-year-old girl. She was operated on, but recovery from injury will take a long time.

Three employees of the Kharkiv Regional Centre for Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine were awarded honorary titles. The corresponding decree was signed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On March 20, Kharkiv regional military and civil administration sent a humanitarian convoy with food and medicines to Volchansk, captured by the Russians. The convoy was travelling along a pre-agreed route. The Russians promised to provide a green corridor, but did not keep their word.
The invaders stopped the cars at the entrance to Volchansk. Drivers and a doctor were held hostage at the recreation centre for almost a day. In the morning, all six were sent on foot in the direction of Kharkiv. The men walked six kilometres. At the Ukrainian checkpoint, they were met by soldiers, who handed them over to doctors for assistance. On the evening of March 21, they all returned to Kharkiv.

25-05-22 Kharkiv during the war

Ukraine’s armed forces cause damage to the enemy. Gradually they occupy strategic heights and counterattack. For two weeks our defenders liberated 23 settlements in Kharkiv region. However, the shelling of residential areas of Kharkiv continues.

As for the issues of restoring business activity, it is clear that as long as there is no security and confidence in the future, no one will plan any kind of systemic activity. Now it is difficult to predict ways of business activity recovery after the war.

The metro started working in Kharkiv for the first time since the beginning of the war. Some train carriages were damaged during the bombardments, so the city authorities are not able to operate all the trains. Thousands of people were hiding in the metro from Russian airstrikes. Over the past three days, about 200 people who lost their homes have been resettled.

Doctors of Kharkiv hospitals and outpatient clinics partially resume the reception of patients as well as the provision of certain diagnostic procedures. The fastest-recovering businesses are those providing services: small cafes, hairdressers, beauty salons. We already witness a revival in the service sector, because this sector is the fastest to recover. There are no complex operational processes there, there is no need for broad cooperative ties.

If we talk about priority areas, first of all, this is the production of essential goods and food, as well as services that the population needs during and after the war. This is a high-tech business in the defense sector – everything related to equipment and military weapons.

But the most important thing for a successful recovery of entrepreneurial activity is a sense of security. As soon as it becomes really safe, the business development of the city, region and local communities will begin.

17-05-2022 Kharkiv during the war

Ukrainian troops prevented the encirclement of Kharkiv and displaced the Russian military from its neighbourhood. In recent days, Russian troops near Kharkiv, with rare exceptions, have not tried to maintain their positions in the face of counterattacks by Ukrainian forces. Russian forces have focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal of their units, instead of trying to hold positions near the city.

For several days now, Russian troops have not been shelling Kharkiv at all. At the same time, air strikes in Kharkiv region continue. Retreating, the Russian military mine the territory of Kharkiv region. There are active hostilities there. The enemy is retreating. The retreat is accompanied by mining absolutely everything: residential buildings, forest belts, roadsides, using different technologies, including remote mining.

In Kharkiv, the only genetic plant bank in Ukraine was destroyed because of Russian shelling. It was one of the largest in the world and it survived World War II. However, the Russians burned it completely. More than 160,000 varieties and hybrids of plants from around the world were stored there. There have been only a few such banks in the world. The seeds were stored in special storage facilities. They were being prepared for sowing and since March the employees had to sow a collection of plants.

More than ten UN agencies are working on a master plan for the reconstruction of Ukrainian Kharkiv, which has been shelled by Russian troops for more than two months. Experts assume that Russia will be defeated.

The master plan is being developed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster. He believes that this is an opportunity to combine the legacy of the past with new technologies necessary to create the city of the future.

“This is an opportunity to make the city even more majestic in the future than it was in the past. This is an opportunity to make it more dynamic and more advanced in terms of trends, technology, industry – everything that makes the city beautiful,” Lord Foster said.

10-05-22 Kharkiv during the war

Kharkiv business is learning to work during the war. Despite shelling, coffee shops reopened, medical centres accept patients, hairdressers serve customers, and couriers deliver pizza under artillery shelling.
In the first weeks of the war in Kharkiv you could only buy food. Now each district is like a separate city: some do not even have grocery stores, which work, others have cafes, beauty salons and private clinics.
The market of cosmetology services is also coming to life. There are several salons and private cosmetologists in the city, where you can do almost any procedure – from depilation to Botox injections.
Kharkiv citizens have access not only to cosmetology, but also to large-scale medical procedures. There are several private clinics in the city with a wide range of services: from laboratory tests to removal of benign tumours.

Many potential clients of cafes, beauty salons and clinics cannot visit them yet. The reason is not only that people are unemployed and have no money to pay for services. Even those who have savings often cannot get out of their neighbourhood. Taxis are expensive, they are used only in case of emergency. Therefore, until public transport resumes its work in the city, most enterprises, large and small, will stand idle.
The city authorities call on entrepreneurs who evacuated from Kharkiv during the war not to wait long and return to the city. The city is already negotiating with international investors that will help restore Kharkiv’s economy. The mayor of Kharkiv recommended that entrepreneurs make arrangements for the future life in Kharkiv after the war: make plans, create business projects.

04-05-2022 Health care system of Ukraine under conditions of war

During the war, the Ukrainian health care system not only survived, but continues to develop. To date, our hospitals continue to carry out the most complex emergency operations, planned transplantations, the blood service is actively working.
The war has revealed weaknesses in all spheres of public administration, and medicine is no exception. One of the most painful lessons was the lack of full-fledged bomb shelters at medical institutions.
Basements, which with great reserve were called shelters, often turned into mass graves during massive shelling. The lack of an autonomous ventilation, water supply system and strong ceilings makes them unsuitable even as a shelter for healthy people. There is no need to talk about the long stay of seriously ill patients in need of therapy.
Now many hospitals located in cities without hostilities have already been equipped with basements. In case of emergency, doctors will even be able to perform operations there, but this is not the level necessary for full-fledged work. It will be necessary to work on it after the end of the war.
Also in the future, it is necessary to create and constantly monitor the reserve supplies of medicines and other necessary means, which at a critical moment were lacking in Ukrainian hospitals. And in connection with the threat of the use of chemical weapons, the issue of providing means of protection not only for military but also for civilians has become acute.
The same applies to vaccination. The long stay of a large number of people in confined spaces (basements, subways, shelters), as well as getting injured with subsequent infection, leads to the development of dangerous diseases affecting unvaccinated people. We need to return to a clear regulated vaccination calendar not only among children, but also among adults. This will protect citizens from possible consequences of natural or man-made disasters, as well as reduce risks during hostilities.
The system of remote access to medical care needs to be improved, as well as planning for emergencies. In such cases, the major hospitals throughout Ukraine should have a sufficient supply of medicines, the required number of beds and doctors ready to work in the event of force majeure.
In addition, medical facilities in towns most affected by the war should become a separate point in the post-war recovery of the health system.

The main challenge to the system after the end of the war will be the issue of medical personnel. The organisation of work at the local level will require new management decisions, which will not be restricted to the search for specialists. The latest technologies will have to be introduced to compensate for the shortage of personnel.

27-04-2022 – Health care system of Ukraine under conditions of war

The Ukrainian health care system was not exemplary even in peacetime. The war had every chance to destroy the system finally, but instead pushed the government and local experts to find effective solutions, thanks to which medicine in the country not only survived, but also continued to develop.
To date, 347 health care institutions have been damaged in Ukraine, 36 of them have been destroyed. In addition, 78 ambulances were destroyed.

Surviving hospitals often have no electricity and water supply, and if they are located in towns captured by the invaders, there are also no supplies of the necessary medicines. Doctors have to work on-site, replacing sterile operating rooms with basements and bomb shelters. In some towns, medical staff do not leave the hospital, which has become their second home, around the clock.
There is an outflow of medical personnel from areas of active hostilities. Most of the doctors in Ukraine, as well as around the world, are women, many of them have children. While fleeing from shelling, they were forced to evacuate to the western regions of the country or abroad. Among medical staff who remained, many were mobilised to help soldiers on the front line.
As a result, there are a number of towns and villages that are regularly bombed, without properly functioning hospitals and the necessary number of doctors. At the same time, most of the population living there today are elderly people who are in need of medical control of chronic diseases.
When the military administration encourages residents to evacuate, it is important to realise that this is done not only because of the direct threat to life due to shelling. Such decisions are made also on the basis of an assessment of the health situation in the region.

Access of citizens to medical care in the occupied territories is a big problem today. After capturing a town, the invaders are unable to meet the basic needs of the population either in terms of food or health care.
In those regions of Ukraine where there are no active hostilities, a number of steps have been taken for the normal functioning of medical institutions.

In particular:

  • When martial law is in effect, access to primary care is not connected with declarations, signed with family doctors. Citizens can contact any primary health care doctor or an outpatient clinic. Appointments to specialists are not tied to a medical institution either.
  • Patients with cancer are sent for treatment to other cities and regions and this process is devoid of a bureaucratic component. They don’t need to collect certificates and register at a new location.
  • The procurement system for hospitals has been simplified. Thanks to the well-coordinated work of the Ministry of Health and volunteers, medical institutions are equipped with both medicines and food in full, and sometimes beyond measure.
  • There are no problems with financing either. During the hostilities, the procedure was simplified by dividing the planned annual sum into 12 months, thus saving hospitals from unnecessary bureaucratic delays.
  •  Ukrainian military doctors have extensive experience in conducting complex operations and treating seriously wounded soldiers since 2014-2015. Knowing about such successful treatment, foreign doctors have come to Ukraine over the past 8 years to exchange experience.

20-04-2022 – Work of Kharkiv doctors under conditions of war
Healthcare institutions in Kharkiv have not stopped working since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine, all of them work under martial law.
Hospitals do not perform scheduled operations, but if a patient needs urgent care, on which his health or life depends, and his condition can become severe, the full range of health services is provided.
Inpatient departments are about half full, there are not more patients than before the war. Hospitals provide emergency surgeries, childbirth services, chronic diseases and outpatient treatment. Now hospitals are equipped with almost everything necessary. Consumables and medicines are available. Humanitarian aid is constantly provided.
There are not enough staff because some medical workers have left, and some can’t physically get to work. That’s why doctors help each other and learn to do work that they didn’t do in peacetime.
In addition, after the introduction of martial law, polyclinic doctors were transferred to work on-call shifts and provide remote counselling. All polyclinics have on-call medical offices, where family doctors and specialist doctors provide the necessary assistance. Healthcare institutions also vaccinate against coronavirus, vaccine preventable diseases and conduct necessary tests.

Besides, medical teams travel to bomb shelters or subway stations to examine people and provide them with the necessary medicines. They do not set aside lonely and elderly citizens, if possible, examine them at home, deliver the necessary medicines. A system of communication, interaction and exchange of information between all medical institutions has been established. Doctors are ready to provide maximum medical care to all those in need and do everything that depends on them.

12-04-2022

Primary care professionals have been on the frontlines of the russian invasion, especially in eastern Ukraine even while continuing to work in ambulatories and clinics.

The whole process of family doctors’ work in Kharkiv and Kharkiv region has been reformatted in the name of security: after the imposition of martial law, family doctors have been transferred to the mode of duty and remote counseling.

Therefore, those who can, our family doctors consult online or by phone. Those who need a personal appointment, come by prior arrangement with their doctor. Everyone is separated in time so that there are as few people as possible in the building of the clinic at a time. Those who do not have visits in the offices should always be in touch with patients, advise people through Viber cameras, other messengers or communication channels.

Family doctors are learning to be both psychologists and sub-specialists, because there is a lack of both. With the beginning of the war, the number of patients decreased in all doctors, and the following pattern emerged: those patients who remained have a much easier attitude to treatment of somatic diseases.

If we talk about chronic diseases, there is a sharp increase in patients with hypertension, who are sensitive and negative to stress, and in general with diseases of the cardiovascular system, including young people. Moreover, experienced patients complain that the drugs they have always taken do not remove the symptoms, their action is simply not enough.

Fear, anxiety, panic, in which people are currently around the clock, have the strongest impact on patients with kidney disease, gastrointestinal tract, coronary heart disease, diabetes. People with thyroid disease are very prone to stress. But, by and large, any somatics now easily turns into psychosomatics and becomes more complicated. We see this every day: unfortunately, the number of neuroses, depressions and hysterical syndromes has greatly increased.

In addition to medical work, postgraduate training of family physicians at the Department of General Practice-Family Medicine of Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education continues using distance educational technologies. Teachers of the Department give lectures remotely, as well as conduct interactive seminars.

Distance learning is the most optimal form in the system of continuing medical education during the war, as it helps to solve a number of problems arising for a certified specialist due to different approaches to work and study, in particular, in case of partial separation from work or the impossibility of separation from work (the difference between workers shifts and duty schedules for trained doctors, etc.).

Distance learning demonstrates its flexibility through the skillful combination of various types of distance learning technologies: without the presence of a teacher in the case of mastering the theoretical part of the course, with the partial presence of a teacher during practical and seminars in parallel with traditional teaching methods.

Postgraduate education of primary care physicians during the war  caused a change in approaches to the organization of the educational process, methodological training of teachers to implement innovations, facilitation of adaptation to learning, search and justification of forms, methods and technologies of distance learning.

06-04-2022

The medical system of Ukraine has switched to military rails so that Ukrainians do not suffer from the lack of medicines and price increases.
Today, the provision of health care comes from several sources. Basic health care services are provided by health facilities and hospitals to patients both after injuries and after polytrauma, as well as to those patients who received medical care during peacetime, in particular those with chronic diseases and cancer.

Military logistics has been created. Its one direction with medicines and humanitarian supplies goes from west to east of the country, and in the opposite direction there is transportation of patients with serious diseases who have lost the opportunity to receive the necessary treatment due to hostilities.
Significant assistance is provided by international partners supplying medicines in the form of humanitarian goods, which are immediately redistributed to health facilities with the most critical need.
There are separately formed packages of medicines, which in case of opening of humanitarian convoys are transferred to those territories where the invadors do not allow transportation by conventional logistics routes.
Regarding prices in pharmacies – the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine defines a list of goods and certain medicines for which daily price monitoring is established. The State Service of Ukraine on medicines and drugs control provides monitoring.

Since 24 February 2022, 274 hospitals have been shelled in Ukraine, 13 have been completely destroyed – they are not subject to restoration, 70 ambulances have already been destroyed by shelling and mines, 6 medical workers have been killed, 20 have been seriously wounded. Medical assistance teams are shelled and kidnapped, as was the case with the ambulance brigade of Kharkiv, which went with humanitarian goods to occupied Vovchansk.

30-03-2022

As a result of hostilities in Kharkiv, 1,410 infrastructure facilities were destroyed, most of which are multi-storey residential buildings.

Thus, since the beginning of the war, 1,177 residential multi-storey buildings have been destroyed, 53 kindergartens, 69 schools and 15 hospitals were also damaged by shelling. People have moved to schools, kindergartens, bomb shelters, basements, subway stations.

This morning, Russian invaders shelled a polyclinic in the Osnovyansky district of Kharkiv, where the humanitarian aid delivery center is located. Four people were killed and three were injured. There is no military facility nearby.

On the morning of March 27, in the basement of a house on Saltovka, a 28-old Kharkiv woman gave birth to a girl weighing 2400 grams and 50 centimeters tall. The child was healthy with an Apgar score of 7-8. The 404th emergency medical care brigade delivered the baby.

Long queues are formed daily near pharmacies. At the same time, many medicines are not available now and Kharkiv citizens (especially the elderly) ask for help from volunteers, who, if possible, always respond and get the necessary pills. Hospitals continue to work, and doctors actively answer residents’ phone calls.

Utilities workers promptly eliminate the consequences of accidents caused by shelling – localize defects on in-house heating networks, replace pipelines damaged by shelling, as well as repair, inspect and put into operation boiler houses. Sometimes there is no Internet, but it is usually restored within three days.

The horrors of the war united the Ukrainian nation. In Kharkiv, hundreds of people of different occupations have become volunteers. Businessmen deliver the humanitarian aid within the city and respond to any written requests from the residents.

23-03-2022 

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian troops have destroyed almost one thousand buildings in Kharkiv, most of them are apartment buildings.
972 buildings, including 778 high-rise buildings, were damaged.
The regional civil defence administration reported that damage in the region was done to:

  • 30 kindergartens;
  • 9 hospitals in different districts of Kharkiv;
  • emergency medical centre;
  • boarding school for children with visual impairments;
  • Kharkiv regional centre of children’s and youth creativity;
  • Karazin Kharkiv National University.

Everything is done to ensure the normal functioning of health care and the provision of medical services. Kharkiv region received 17 cars for emergency medical care from volunteers.
Interruptions in the supply of medicines occur only in towns where military operations take place. At least three wholesale drug warehouses were damaged as a result of shelling by Putin’s troops – in the towns of Irpin and Mila, Kyiv region, as well as in Kharkiv. But at present there is no shortage of medicines in the country.

Medical care courses have been opened at the Southern railway station in Kharkiv. Those who attend first aid courses are taught to help people with cardiac arrest, heart attacks, strokes, severe bleeding resulting from traffic accidents or injuries. Participants also get basic knowledge of how to deal with stranglement, drowning, epilepsy, burns, frostbite, injuries and other life-threatening situations. At the end of the course, all its students receive certificates.

18-03-2022 

Kharkiv and Kharkiv region were among the first areas, which were attacked by Russia. From the beginning of the war the Russian army invaded towns and villages on the north-east of the region, and Kharkiv appeared under the heavy shelling. A building of the Kharkiv region administration was destroyed by a missile strike on 1 March.

The Russian army probably expected that it would be met with flowers, bread and salt. Instead it faced a fierce resistance of the Ukrainian army and ordinary people, who, to put it mildly, don’t wait for them here, but resist on every centimeter of the Ukrainian land. Russia would like Ukrainian citizens evacuate by the proposed corridors to the Russian borders. This definitely won’t happen, people will never go there. That’s why Russia simply destroys the city so that it doesn’t exist anymore. Russians are constantly shelling living districts, where there is no military infrastructure or plants. A lot of children are killed.

During the war against Ukraine Russian invaders caused damage to 117 hospitals, out of which 7 cannot be restored. Besides, they shelled 43 ambulances and continue to do so.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, condemned the Russian shelling of civilian objects in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. “The shelling against civilian infrastructure yesterday in Kharkiv violated the laws of war. The EU stands unwavering at the side of Ukraine in these dramatic moments.” the EU foreign policy chief wrote on Tuesday, 1 March 2022 in his Twitter.