Ukrainian minister says Russia is blocking access to drugs – Winnipeg Free Press

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicine in areas occupied by his forces since the invasion of the country 5 and a half months ago.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities have repeatedly blocked efforts to provide state-subsidized drugs to residents of occupied towns and villages. .

“During the six months of war, Russia has not (allowed) proper humanitarian corridors so that we can provide our own medicines to patients who need them,” Liashko said, speaking Friday evening at the Ministry of Health. Health in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s Health Minister Viktor Liashko speaks to Associated Press reporters during an interview Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Liashko accused Russian authorities of blocking access to affordable medicine in the regions of Ukraine it has occupied since the launch of the invasion on February 24. He described the action as a “crime against humanity”. (AP Photo/Vasilisa Stepanenko)

“We believe these actions are committed intentionally by Russia, and we consider them to be crimes against humanity and war crimes that will be documented and recognized,” the minister said.

The Ukrainian government has a program that provides medicine to people with cancer and chronic diseases. The destruction of hospitals and infrastructure as well as the displacement of around 7 million people inside the country have also interfered with other forms of treatment, according to the United Nations and Ukrainian officials.

The war in Ukraine caused severe disruption to the country’s public health service, which was undergoing major reforms, largely in response to the coronavirus pandemic, when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade the February 24.

The World Health Organization said it had recorded 445 attacks on hospitals and other health facilities as of August 11, which directly left 86 people dead and 105 injured.

But Liashko said the side effects were far more serious.

“When roads and bridges have been damaged in areas now controlled by Ukrainian forces…it is difficult to take someone who has had a heart attack or a stroke to the hospital,” he said. he declared. “Sometimes we can’t get there in time, the ambulance can’t get there in time. This is why war causes many more victims (than people killed in combat). It is a number that cannot be calculated. ___ Full coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine ___ Follow Gatopoulos on https://twitter.com/dgatopoulos and Arhirova on https://twitter.com/h_arhirova

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