The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in the death and unimaginable suffering of civilians. To date, more than a thousand bodies of civilians have been found in the Kyiv region alone. Some of these people were killed in the fighting, while others appear to have been summarily executed. Some died due to the fact that they did not receive timely medical care.
This was announced by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the press service of the organization reports.
Speaking at the 34th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Ukraine as a result of Russian aggression, Michelle Bachelet said that many atrocities can be equated with war crimes.
Bachelet recalled that her office updates information on the dead and wounded in Ukraine on a daily basis, but the real numbers could be much higher. The Authority publishes only verified information. It is difficult to obtain and confirm in areas of intense hostilities, in particular, in Mariupol.
People died mainly as a result of shelling and rocket attacks.
The vast majority of civilians were killed or injured as a result of “the use of explosives with a wide range in populated areas.” We are talking about shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, rocket and air strikes.
“According to our information, while both sides of the conflict can be held responsible for such incidents, the majority of these casualties appear to be linked to the Russian military and associated armed groups,” the UN High Commissioner said.
“To date, more than 1,000 bodies of civilians have been found in the Kyiv region alone,” said the UN chief human rights activist.
Many civilians spent weeks in basements and were threatened by Russian soldiers with violence if they tried to leave. In the village of Yahidne, Chernihiv region, 360 residents, including 74 children and 5 disabled people, spent 28 days in the basement of a school. People had to sit for days without being able to lie down. There were no toilets, no water, no ventilation. 10 elderly people have died. The Russian military did not allow them to leave.
“The scale of extrajudicial killings, including mass executions in areas north of Kyiv, is shocking. Although we have information on 300 such murders, the numbers will continue to rise as more evidence emerges. These killings of civilians were often premeditated…”, stressed the High Commissioner.
Civilians, she said, died when they crossed the road or left their shelters in search of food and water, or when they tried to leave the war zone in their cars.
“Unarmed local men were killed because Russian soldiers suspected them of supporting Ukrainian forces or thought they were a potential threat, and some were tortured before being killed,” Bachelet said.
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