Armoury, Prison, Graveyard: Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital under Russian occupation

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) presents the report “Armoury, Prison, Graveyard: Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital under Russian occupation”,  prepared by IPHR, Truth Hounds, and Global Diligence LLP.

Mariupol is a strategic port city in south-eastern Ukraine, with a pre-war population of around 400 000. Mariupol was under Russian siege from 2 March to mid-May 2022, when Russia announced its full control over the city. During the siege, Russian forces relentlessly bombed and shelled Mariupol, destroying 90% of its infrastructure, including entire residential neighbourhoods.

Throughout the siege, Russian forces made Mariupol’s healthcare facilities the targets of attacks and other military operations. On 12 March 2022, Russian troops attacked and seized Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital, with between 400 and 500 patients, doctors, and other civilians still inside. Hundreds of residents from surrounding residential buildings were corralled into the hospital by force. Russian servicemen prohibited people from leaving the hospital under threat of death, holding captive civilians in horrendous conditions, without sufficient food, drinking water, medicine, bedding, or heating. Russian and so-called Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (hereafter, ‘DNR’) forces used the hospital as a military base, stationing 5 000 to 7 000 military personnel there. Tanks and Grad multiple rocket launchers were also placed on the hospital grounds and used to shell the city, including at least two residential buildings facing the northern and eastern sides of the hospital.

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) conducted interviews with Mariupol residents who were trapped in the hospital, as well as their relatives. The information provided by the interviewees is corroborated by the findings of IPHR’s open-source intelligence (OSINT) investigation.

Several Ukrainian NGOs and media outlets have covered the case of the Russian siege of the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital. This report corroborates these accounts and provides further detail and analysis of alleged crimes committed on the site of the Mariupol Regional Intensive Care Hospital.

There are strong reasons to believe that the conduct of the Russian and ‘DNR’ military personnel amount to the following war crimes: intentional attack against a hospital; intentional attacks against civilian residential buildings; using civilians in the hospital as human shields; unlawful confinement of civilians; and inhuman treatment of captive civilians.

Download the report here.