Report: Russia targets Ukrainian health facilities with impunity

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Russia’s drive to target civilian areas in Ukraine, such as apartment complexes and residential areas, using unguided missiles, rockets and bombs, is now well known and widely documented, and has been condemned. by dozens of countries.

These attacks, which have killed large numbers of children since the start of the war, have also been accompanied by documented reports of atrocities and war crimes committed against Ukrainian soldiers and non-combatants.

Beneath the surface of these more visible and widely acknowledged direct attacks on children and other innocent Ukrainian victims, there is also growing evidence of lesser-known atrocities such as the systematic bombing of health facilities, museums, sites of Ukrainian cultural heritage and educational institutions.

Detailed reports from the Humanitarian Research Laboratory (HRL) at the Yale School of Public Health published since the start of the Russian invasion have used satellite photos and large amounts of aggregated open-source evidence to show the extent of the devastation. inflicted by Russian forces.

A report released earlier this year examined systematic Russian attacks on Ukrainian healthcare facilities. The report states that from February to March 2022, twenty-two Ukrainian health facilities were attacked, according to evidence corroborated by satellite imagery and open source information.

“HRL verified the damage through cross-corroboration of very high resolution satellite imagery and open source information. Based on a review of nearly 300 facilities in five cities and regions, the HRL concluded that Russian-aligned forces engaged in widespread and systematic bombardment of Ukrainian healthcare facilities,” says a summary of the report. .

The HRL report noted that it takes no position on whether these attacks are “indiscriminate” or “deliberate”, but asserts that they constitute war crimes in either case.

“The initial report does not attempt to determine whether any individual incident of a bombed health facility is the result of indiscriminate burning or intentional targeting. It is important to note that indiscriminate and intentional targeting of health facilities may constitute a war crime,” the HRL report states.

For example, the HRL report identified no less than fourteen health facilities in the city of Mariupol that were totally or partially destroyed by Russian attacks. Health facilities in other cities have also been identified, including Kyiv, Izyum and Chernihiv. According to the summary statistics detailed in the report, the destruction of health structures in these areas is also accompanied by damage to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Picture: Reuters.

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