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UK intel: War against Ukraine creates healthcare sector challenges for Russia’s civilian population

The impact of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine is taking a toll on Russia’s civilian population, especially in the healthcare sector, according to a report from the UK Defense Ministry. Russian citizens are reportedly struggling to access hospital services, with shortages of medical supplies, including crucial antibiotics.
A view of St. Basil’s Cathedral at the Red Square in Moscow on 17 March 2020. Source: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency
UK intel: War against Ukraine creates healthcare sector challenges for Russia’s civilian population

The civilian population of Russia is likely experiencing the impact of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine, particularly in the healthcare sector, according to the UK Defense Ministry’s latest intelligence update.

Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine escalated numerous domestic issues within Russia, amplifying severe challenges across various sectors of the Russian economy not without the impact of Western sanctions, shortages of certain consumer goods, and workforce deficiencies.

“Russian media has reported that the general public is struggling to access hospital services throughout the country. A shortage of medical products is also being reported, including broad-spectrum antibiotics,” the British intelligence report has revealed.

“The war is likely to be significantly contributing to this situation, as hospitals are treating the wounded personnel. The government is also being forced to reduce the civilian health estate nationwide, due to a lack of clinical staff and financial pressure,” the report says.

Last September, the UK Defense Ministry said the Russian military’s recruitment drive added pressure on a beleaguered industry workforce.

Earlier, BBC reported that the Russian move to send convicts to the war against Ukraine sparked outrage among Russian troops.

Many prisoners agree to go on the battlefield due to high payments. Still, soon after being deployed to Ukraine, they realize they are being sent into a “total meat-grinder” without weapons or training.

In 2023, UK intelligence confirmed that Russia sent Shtorm-Z units manned with convicts for Ukraine offenses, underscoring their low priority for support and orders to attack.

UK intel: Russia depends on convicts in Ukraine offensives

Meanwhile, occupation authorities in the temporarily seized Mariupol, in Donetsk Oblast, continue to devastate the city, which was almost completely destroyed by Russian forces in 2022, early in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s National Resistance Center has reported that a significant number of buildings in Mariupol are still not connected to the heating system after heavy bombardments ruined critical infrastructure. Consequently, the residents in the city are freezing in their apartments, which are gradually deteriorating.

Moreover, the occupiers have failed to address a garbage disposal crisis in Mariupol as the equipment needed to clean the city was looted earlier by invaders.

In addition, Russians have dismantled the torture facility where Ukrainians have been subjected to torment for opposing the occupation. 

Overall, over 90% of residential houses, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, and businesses have been damaged or destroyed. To conceal its war crimes and humanitarian catastrophe which emerged due to the invasion, Russia has demolished 465 buildings in the city with nearly 33,500 apartments in them.

The invaders also installed a Christmas tree near the ruins of the Drama Theater destroyed by Russian attacks. On 16 March 2022, Russian occupiers deliberately dropped two bombs on the building of the theater despite the “Children” inscription written on the ground near it, killing nearly 600 civilians. 

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