Ukraine report: escalation of hostilities last spring led to significant casualties

Доклад по Украине: эскалация боевых действий минувшей весной привела к значительным жертвам

Rescue workers are working to clear the rubble after the strike on Poltava. Ukraine report: escalation of hostilities last spring led to significant casualties Peace and Security

An increase in attacks by Russian forces in March, April and May resulted in numerous casualties, according to a new report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) prepared by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. among the civilian population and significant damage to civilian property and infrastructure of the country.

The report details the human rights situation in Ukraine from 1 March to 31 May 2024, listing the hardships civilians face, ranging from immediate physical harm to long-term socio-economic problems. It points to the wide-ranging impact of the renewed, intensive attacks by Russian armed forces on Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure.

Increasing Casualties Among Civilians

“May saw the highest monthly number of civilian casualties over the past year. The fighting this spring has caused horrific civilian casualties, especially in the Kharkiv region and the city of Kharkiv,” said Danielle Bell, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

Among the main reasons for the significant civilian casualties, the report cited the use of powerful aerial bombs and rockets targeting populated areas and at least five consecutive attacks on the same location within a short period of time, resulting in numerous casualties among first responders.

Attacks on energy infrastructure

During the reporting period, the Russian armed forces deployed their largest deployment since the winter of 2022–2023  years-long campaign of attacks on critical energy infrastructure that killed and injured many civilians and affected millions of people across the country.

Accusations of “collaboration activities”

In territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, the Monitoring Mission documented the ongoing prosecution of people on charges of “collaboration activities.” However, during the reporting period, the Ukrainian government took measures to improve compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law in this regard, the report notes.

Imposition of Russian citizenship

In the occupied territory, civilians continue to face the imposition by the occupation authorities of Russian citizenship, which is necessary to access medical services and maintain their property rights. Family members of Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians in custody told the Monitoring Mission members of the anxiety and suffering caused by the lack of information about their loved ones as the Russian Federation continues to deny detainees regular communication with the outside world. In addition, the new law in the Russian Federation has further entrenched impunity for violations committed by the armed forces.

The report will be presented by the Monitoring Mission to the Human Rights Council on July 9 in Geneva.


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