Russia killed hundreds of civilians with banned weapons in Kharkov: Amnesty
London, June 13 (EFE).- Russia’s indiscriminate use of prohibited weapons such as cluster bombs has killed hundreds of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, according to an investigation revealed on Monday by Amnesty International.
In its report “Anyone can die at any time,” the organization accuses Russian troops of indiscriminately bombing residential neighborhoods of Kharkov with rockets that by their nature have little precision to reach certain targets.
Amnesty investigators found evidence of the repeated use of 9N210 and 9N235 cluster munitions, as well as dispersible mines, all of which are prohibited by international treaties.
“The population of Kharkiv has faced relentless indiscriminate shelling in recent months, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Adviser on Crisis Response, said in a statement.
Rovera considered the use of such weapons “scandalous” and added that it shows Russia’s “absolute disregard” for the lives of civilians.
“Russian forces responsible for these horrific attacks must be held accountable for their actions, and the victims and their families must receive full reparation,” the official said.
The bombardment of Kharkov began on Feb. 24, at the same time as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although the Russian Army gave up in mid-May its attempts to control the city, where more than 1.5 million people lived at the beginning of war.
The residential neighborhoods in the north and east of the city have been the most affected by the bombing.
According to the Kharkov regional military administration’s medical department director, 606 civilians have been killed and 1,248 others injured since the conflict began in the Kharkov region.
Amnesty said that, although Russia is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions or the Convention on the Ban of Anti-Personnel Mines, it is subject to international humanitarian law, which prohibits indiscriminate attacks.
Amnesty cites some examples of the use of these weapons, such as a bombardment on the afternoon of Apr. 15, when at least nine civilians died and another 35 were injured, including several minors, by cluster munitions on Myru street, in the Industrialni neighborhood.
Doctors extracted metallic fragments from the bodies of patients, such as the characteristic pieces of steel rods that contain 9N210 and 9N235 cluster munitions.
The NGO recalls that unguided rockets – such as the Grad and the Uragan, used by Russian forces – have a margin of error of one hundred meters and “are inherently inaccurate, so their effects are indiscriminate when used in populated areas.”
Amnesty also said Ukrainian forces often launch attacks from residential neighborhoods, endangering the civilian population in these areas.
“This practice violates international humanitarian law, but in no way justifies the repeated indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces,” according to the report. EFE