Ukraine: civilians continue suffering due to Russia’s invasion

Ukrainian family walking through the city of Bucha, near Kyiv Ukrainian family walking through the city of Bucha, near Kyiv 2022 AP Photo/Felipe Dana

12 January 2023

As violence continues incessantly in Ukraine, civilians are suffering the most and they are the main targets of the abuses perpetrated by Russians

On January 12, 2023, in its new “World Report 2023” the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused unimaginable suffering to the country’s inhabitants. Precisely, since the beginning of the conflict, it has been underlined that torture, summary executions, and enforced disappearances are only a few of the apparent war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian soldiers.

Particularly, the winter season is not making things easier for civilians, and the majority of the population, also in the capital, lost access to electricity, water, and heat as a result of their indiscriminate attacks on residential areas and persistent targeting of energy infrastructure. For this reason, international organizations and the international community overall have started thinking about the accountability of these crimes before an international court. Also, Yulia Gorbunova, senior Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch underlined this by saying that “Accountability is crucial, both to bring justice to victims and survivors and to ensure that there is no impunity for these grave crimes.”

The organization, in collaboration with the UN, has recorded relevant data about Russia’s war crimes: it has been reported that approximately 6,919 civilians have been killed, and more than 11,000 have been wounded. Moreover, there are 6.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country, while about 5 million took refuge in European countries.

Overall, since February, the actions perpetrated by the Russian forces have been disproportionate and indiscriminate and are continuing to cause suffering and damages. For this reason, both the international community and the private sector are working to find just means for the accountability of these crimes.


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By Alexia Tenneriello

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