Russian attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine could be a war crime

Russian attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine could be a war crime

Fifteen days into the war, schools, hospitals and nurseries have been hit by shelling, Ms. Throssell said, adding that cluster bombs had also been used in several populated areas.

Up to midnight on 9 March, OHCHR recorded 549 civilians killed and 957 injured in Ukraine, whilst also acknowledging that that figure is likely to be considerably higher.

“On 3 March, 47 civilians were killed when Russian airstrikes hit two schools and several apartment blocks in Chernihiv,” Ms. Throssell said.

“On 9 March, a Russian airstrike hit Mariupol Hospital No.3, injuring at least 17 civilians. We are still investigating reports that at least three civilians may have been killed in the airstrike. We spoke to different sources in Mariupol, including local authorities, indicating consistently that the hospital was both clearly identifiable and operational when it was hit.”

The UN World Health Organization, (WHO), also condemned early reports of an attack by Russian forces on a psychiatric hospital near Kharkiv.

“There are just reports from this morning from Kharkiv, authorities that (a) psychiatric institute has been attacked. If this proves to be true, this would be yet another effect on health in Ukraine,” said Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesperson, speaking from Lviv in western Ukraine.

“According to these authorities, in this particular institute, there are 300 people that are staying there and then some 50 or so, who are unable to move.”

To date, the WHO has confirmed 29 attacks on health care facilities, which have resulted in 12 deaths – including two health workers – and 34 people injured.

Condemning all such targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, OHCHR’s Ms. Throssell issued a direct message to Moscow: “We remind the Russian authorities that directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, as well as so-called bombardment in towns and villages and other forms of indiscriminate attacks, are prohibited under international law and may amount to war crimes.”


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