Eastern Ukraine: Catastrophic corona situation in Donetsk

Status: 10/26/2021 11:04 a.m.

The corona cases in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk exceed the capacities of the hospitals. There should be shocking conditions in a clinic. There is also a lack of doctors.

By Martha Wilczynski, ARD Studio Moscow

The video recordings should come from a resident of the Central City Hospital No. 3 – recorded in the city of Donetsk, occupied by pro-Russian separatists: Corpses lie in sacks on the floor in the hallways – there are about a dozen.

Martha Wilczynski
ARD studio Moscow

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Health of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic described the situation as “extremely tense”. The number of corona cases, but also pneumonia, would exceed the capacities of the clinics “despite all efforts”.

“Of course, many doctors left the country”

Serhiy Harmasch is the Ukrainian representative of the region in the trilateral contact group in the Minsk peace process. He blames Russia for the local conditions. He told Ukrainian television:

The medical system there was destroyed because Russian passports were issued to government employees – including doctors. And then they were given generous job offers in distant regions in Russia, where salaries are ten times higher than in the occupied territories. Of course, many doctors left the country.

Applying for Russian passports is simplified

Since May 2019, Ukrainians from the occupied territories have been able to apply for Russian passports using a simplified procedure. According to the Russian authorities, several hundred thousand have already accepted this offer. Also because they hardly see any future prospects for themselves in the region, which has been weakened by the war.

On the phone, Olga also reported on the shortage of doctors in Donetsk in conversation with the ARD studio Moscow. Her grandmother had been treated there in a hospital: “We were told that there were 44 patients on one floor, all of them a bit older. For 44 people there was a nurse, an on-call doctor and a chief doctor who treated all of them.”

Difficult trips

In addition to the worsening situation on site, the already arduous journeys to the other side in the conflict region are becoming more complicated. In the meantime, some would even choose the detour via Russia. But even that is not that easy, says Olga.

In the past you only drove 100 kilometers, now it’s more than 1000. “That takes the whole day or even longer. And of course a trip like this costs a lot more, especially for those who do not have their own car and have to drive in minibuses. These Drivers charge a lot of money for such a trip, but people often have no other option, “says Olga.

At the checkpoints along the confrontation line, such as in Stanyza Luhanska, passenger traffic has recently decreased by more than 70 percent, reports the Ukrainian media.

One reason for this is the tightened anti-corona measures in the occupied territories, explains the spokeswoman for the Luhansk border command, Tetjana Litoschko: “It has become known that additional quarantine rules have been introduced there that restrict crossing the contact line. ”

Non-recognition of vaccines

The mutual non-recognition of vaccines also plays a role: In the self-proclaimed People’s Republics, people can be vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V – if it is available. In Ukraine, however, as in Europe, Russian vaccines are not approved.

Corona in Eastern Ukraine – Catastrophic conditions

Martha Wilczynski, ARD Moscow, October 25, 2021 5:36 p.m.


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