Washington, D.C., February 24, 2022 – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) is gravely concerned about the protection of civilians as a Russian military offensive is underway in Ukraine.
We urge all parties to the conflict to agree to an immediate ceasefire and take urgent measures to avoid civilian harm.
War is never the solution, and civilians always suffer the brunt of it.
All warring parties must adhere to their obligations under International Humanitarian Law. They must make the protection of civilians a priority and adjust their military operations accordingly.
The use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas must be avoided. As reports of people fleeing the areas of conflict have emerged, all parties must ensure a safe passage out of conflict zones for civilians. Humanitarian access to people in need must also be guaranteed.
This offensive will deepen the suffering of Ukrainians and likely lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. Civilian casualties were already reported within the first hours of the offensive and will likely increase as military operations continue. Besides the loss of human lives, the conflict will result in the destruction of critical infrastructure, the loss of livelihood, and will trigger massive displacement.
CIVIC has been present in Ukraine since 2017, working with local actors to better protect civilians in the east of Ukraine.
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