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

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.