The human toll and humanitarian crisis of the Russia-Ukraine war: the first 162 days

Ubydul Haque, Amna Naeem, Shanshan Wang, Juan Espinoza, Irina Holovanova, Taras Gutor, Dimitry Bazyka, Rebeca Galindo, Sadikshya Sharma, Igor P. Kaidashev, Dmytro Chumachenko, Svyatoslav Linnikov, Esther Annan, Jailos Lubinda, Natalya Korol, Kostyantyn Bazyka, Liliia Zhyvotovska, Andriy Zimenkovsky, Uyen Sa D.T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background We examined the human toll and subsequent humanitarian crisis resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022. Method We extracted and analysed data resulting from Russian military attacks on Ukrainians between 24 February and 4 August 2022. The data tracked direct deaths and injuries, damage to healthcare infrastructure and the impact on health, the destruction of residences, infrastructure, communication systems, and utility services-all of which disrupted the lives of Ukrainians. Results As of 4 August 2022, 5552 civilians were killed outright and 8513 injured in Ukraine as a result of Russian attacks. Local officials estimate as many as 24 328 people were also killed in mass atrocities, with Mariupol being the largest (n=22 000) such example. Aside from wide swaths of homes, schools, roads, and bridges destroyed, hospitals and health facilities from 21 cities across Ukraine came under attack. The disruption to water, gas, electricity, and internet services also extended to affect supplies of medications and other supplies owing to destroyed facilities or production that ceased due to the war. The data also show that Ukraine saw an increase in cases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and Coronavirus (COVID-19). Conclusions The 2022 Russia-Ukraine War not only resulted in deaths and injuries but also impacted the lives and safety of Ukrainians through destruction of healthcare facilities and disrupted delivery of healthcare and supplies. The war is an ongoing humanitarian crisis given the continuing destruction of infrastructure and services that directly impact the well-being of human lives. The devastation, trauma and human cost of war will impact generations of Ukrainians to come.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere009550
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2022


  • Child health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health systems
  • Mental Health & Psychiatry
  • Public Health


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