Ukraine: collecting evidence on damages of civilian infrastructures

Destroyed residential building after Russian occupation in Kharkiv Oblast. Destroyed residential building after Russian occupation in Kharkiv Oblast. Carl Court/Getty Images

25 October 2022

The current war in Ukraine is causing unimaginable damages to the country, particularly to civilian infrastructures which are the most targeted. 

On the 25th of October, the Institute For War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) published an article concerning the estimated damages of civilian infrastructures caused by the ongoing war. Currently, one of the crucial parts of conflict is the Kherson region, which have been taken and re-taken alternatively several times by Russian and Ukrainian Armies. In this area, the village of Posad-Pokrovske represents the main frontline, in which the Prime Group petrol station has been destroyed. About this, the Group’s founder reported that: “In total, we estimated 6.5 million US dollars of damage to the company because of the Russian invasion.”

This is just one example of the numerous war damages that have been reported since 24 February; however, what is most relevant is that all these attacks towards civilian’s and primary infrastructures represent grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and can thus be defined as war crimes. On the other hand, concerning the economic damages, according to the Kyiv School of Economics research published in September, infrastructure and real estate that were the subject of recorded damage amounted to more than 127 billion US dollars - and given the continued bombardment and destruction, this number keeps rising. For what concerns the judgment of these actions, experts point out that there are several ways to pursue claims for war losses, but it is not yet obvious which will be most likely to force Russia to provide restitution. 

Overall, between February and October 2022, approximately 41.000 cases of war crimes have been registered, and to be able to handle this, several investigation groups have been created, each with different experts for reporting information about the violations of human rights.

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by Alexia Tenneriello

 

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