(Reuters) – Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had destroyed hundreds of hospitals and other institutions and left doctors without cancer drugs or the ability to perform surgery.
In a letter to a video charity medical group, Zelensky said that many places lack even basic antibiotics in eastern and southern Ukraine, which are the focal points of the fight.
“If you think only of the medical infrastructure, then even today Russian forces have destroyed or damaged almost 400 healthcare institutions: hospitals, maternity wards and outpatient clinics,” he told the crowd.
He pointed out that the situation in the areas occupied by Russian forces is catastrophic.
“This amounts to a complete lack of medicines for cancer patients. It means severe difficulties or a complete lack of insulin for diabetes. It is impossible to perform surgery. It even means, quite simply, a lack of antibiotics.”
The Kremlin says it only targets military or strategic sites.
In one of the most widely denounced acts of war, a maternity hospital was completely destroyed on March 9 in the city of Mariupol. Russia has claimed that images of the attack were orchestrated and said the website was used by Ukrainian armed groups.
(Reporting by Ronald Popesky; Editing by David Leungren and Sandra Mahler)