26/09/2023 15:09
Deliberate Killings, Attacks on Civilian Objects and High-Risk Structures - Summary of Violations of IHL by the Russian Military in the Summer of 2023

The Russian military continues to violate the norms of international humanitarian law (IHL) on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, during the period from 01 June 2023 to 31 August 2023, a number of violations of IHL norms were recorded, such as premeditated killings, extrajudicial executions and torture of combatants, sexual violence, deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects, threats to high-risk structures and facilities, looting of property, arbitrary detention of civilians. This is described in the latest Digest of human rights violations during the war in Ukraine, prepared by the "Eastern Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives".

Populated areas in the immediate vicinity of the ongoing military operations, as well as those in the rear of the Ukrainian troops, continued to be subjected to indiscriminate artillery , rocket and bomb attacks in June-August 2023. During this period, at least 131 civilians were killed and 440 injured on the territory of the Donetsk region controlled by the Ukrainian government alone.

Threat to high-risk structures and facilities: In July-August 2023, the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continued to threaten the safe operation of nuclear facilities  in Ukraine. First of all, this applies to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, where the armed Russian military and heavy equipment continue to be stationed.

The most massive crime of the Russian military in the summer was the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam and the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station, which took place the day after the World Environment Day. As a result, residents of the densely populated cities of Kryvyi Rih, Marganets, Pokrov, Nikopol, as well as of a number of other municipalities faced water supply problems. The floods affected dozens of municipalities and large areas of agricultural land with contaminated water, killing at least 31 people and causing the loss of homes and internal displacement of thousands of people. In particular, at least 3,614 people were evacuated from dangerous areas, including 474 children and 80 persons with reduced mobility.

During June-August, Ukrainian investigators identified the data of individuals and reported suspicions to a number of Russian citizens who are suspected of committing deliberate killings of civilians, extrajudicial executions of combatants, sexual violence and looting of property during the occupation of the territories of Kherson, Chernihiv, Kyiv and Kharkiv regions.

Read more about these and other recorded violations of international humanitarian law in Digest No. 13:

Our previous digests are available at the following links: