Kyiv/ The Hague, October 25, 2022 – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) strongly condemns the latest series of Russian attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which have had significant consequences on access to electricity, gas and water for around 1.5 million people. In line with international humanitarian law, CIVIC calls for an immediate end to such attacks, which have had a disproportionate impact on civilians and civilian objects, and demand an investigation.
Alexander Grif, CIVIC’s Ukraine Country Director, said:
“The recent waves of attacks have plunged civilians into cold and darkness, in what can only be viewed as punitive and condemnable actions by Russian Armed Forces. While some of the infrastructure targeted might be viewed as dual-purpose and a legitimate military object, warring parties should refrain from conducting attacks such as witnessed in recent days as they are disproportionally affecting millions of Ukrainians throughout the country, including far from the frontline. Precautions to avoid disproportionate and indiscriminate harm on civilians appear to have been ignored, and instead, harm on civilians seems to have been the intended aim. We remind all parties to the conflict that they have an obligation to protect civilians from harm and that they should take all possible measures to protect and spare civilian lives as well as civilian infrastructure.”
Over the last two weeks, Russian armed forces have deliberately targeted electrical stations and other infrastructure in major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv and Lviv, reportedly destroying almost one-third of Ukrainian power stations. These attacks have been conducted with the use of ballistic missiles and so-called “kamikaze’ drones. As a result, several power outages across the country have been recorded, leaving many civilians in a vulnerable situation. In addition to the immediate harm to civilians and civilian objects, such attacks are anticipated to have significant reverberating effects on the civilian population as winter approaches.
The war in Ukraine has become a playbook for harmful war tactics to civilians while mounting atrocities continue to be reported. The United Nations’ Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine published on October 18 has found that violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including war crimes, have been committed in Ukraine. The findings confirm that in too many cases civilian harm has been deliberate and intentional. CIVIC calls for all perpetrators of civilian harm to be held to account.
This press statement is also available in Ukrainian and Russian.
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