Conflicts & War

UN says Russian attacks could violate rules of war

(Update: changes headline, lede, adds UN death toll)

Geneva, Oct 11 (EFE).- A wave of Russian missile attacks against cities across Ukraine that killed at least 12 and injured over 100 intentionally targeted civilians and civilian objects, the United Nations said Tuesday, adding that the strikes could have violated the rules of war and might amount to war crimes.

“The strikes may have violated the principles of the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Council, told reporters in Geneva.

Shamdasani added that the timing and location of the attacks suggested that they were intentionally targeting people going to work and children going to school, which she said was “particularly shocking”.

At least 12 energy infrastructures were also damaged in the series of missile strikes on Kyiv and other major cities such as Lviv in western Ukraine and Zaporizhzhia in the south on Monday morning, according to the UN.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities said at least one person has died in another Russian missile attack against Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday.

“The enemy continues to terrorize the civilians of Zaporizhzhia. A missile strike from 12 S-300 missiles hit public facilities,” Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration, wrote on Telegram.

Two of the rockets hit a car dealership, killing one and sparking a fire, while others hit a school, and a medical dispensary was damaged, he added.

Over 300 localities in Kyiv, Lviv, Sumy, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky regions remain without power, the State Emergency Service said, while electricity has been restored to 3,571 settlements across Ukraine.

The escalation in Russian airstrikes across Ukraine comes in response to last week’s attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014.

According to the latest report from the US-based Institute for the Study of War, the attacks “wasted some of Russia’s dwindling precision weapons against civilian targets, as opposed to militarily significant targets.”

“Russia’s use of its limited supply of precision weapons in this role may deprive Putin of options to disrupt ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensives in Kherson and Luhansk,” the ISW said.

It added that contrary to Moscow claiming that military command centers, signal infrastructure and energy systems had been successfully attacked, social media posts show that “Russians instead hit a children’s playground, a park, a German consulate, and a business center, among other non-military targets.”

According to Ukrainian authorities, at least 19 people were killed and 105 were injured in Monday’s bombardments of cities across Ukraine.


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