Amnesty International accuses Russia of ‘war crimes’ in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

Amnesty International has accused Russia of committing war crimes when it bombed the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has already crossed 100 days and Amnesty said on Monday that Russia attacked Kharkiv with scattered mines and cluster munitions resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. While the use of cluster munitions in any conflict is considered a war crime by a number of countries, Russia and Ukraine have never signed an international agreement preventing them from using these weapons. However, Amnesty International research consultant Jean-Baptiste Gallopin told Reuters the use of such weapons was not tolerated.

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During Amnesty International’s investigation into the Kharkiv raids, they found that around 606 civilians had been killed in the shelling while 600,000 fled. They also confirmed the use of both cluster munitions and scatterable mines in the Russian attack.

“The repeated shelling of residential areas of Kharkiv are indiscriminate attacks that have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and as such constitute war crimes,” Amnesty said.

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Amnesty’s report also held Ukrainian forces responsible for violating international humanitarian law by positioning artillery near residential buildings. According to the Reuters report, Gallopin said the presence of the artillery made the buildings an easy target for Russian bombers, but added that this “in no way justifies the indiscriminate and incessant bombardment of the city”.

“People in Kharkiv have faced a relentless barrage of indiscriminate attacks in recent months, which have killed and injured hundreds of civilians,” said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International, according to the report. Reuters report.

“The repeated use of widely banned cluster munitions is shocking and another indication of utter disregard for civilian life. The Russian forces responsible for these horrific attacks must be held accountable for their actions, and the victims and their families must receive full reparations,” he added.


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(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 5:14pm on Thursday June 23rd, 2022