Ukraine: one year of war and targeting of civilians

Destroyed residential buildings in Borodyanka Destroyed residential buildings in Borodyanka

20 February 2023

After one year since the beginning of the conflict, the Center for Civilians in Conflict published an article concerning the impact on civilians.

On the 20th of February, after almost one year of conflict, the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) called for the end of the war in Ukraine which is causing unimaginable damages to civilians and civilian casualties. In this context, the organization also condemns the uncountable violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) that have been perpetrated by the Russian army through the year, starting in February 2022. 

In this respect, CIVIC reported several testimonies of Ukrainian civilians’ victims of Russian actions and the testimony of Alexander Grif, the Country Director of CIVIC in Ukraine. He clearly underlined the need for the accountability of these crimes by saying that: “Russian armed forces have repeatedly targeted civilians and civilian objects in Ukraine for nearly a year now. From deliberate airstrikes of populated areas to the mass murder of civilians and prisoners of war in places like Bucha, Irpin, and Olenivka […] Too many civilian lives have been targeted and harmed in Ukraine to be ignored. Accountability is paramount.” Moreover, according to Ukrainian civilians’ testimony, the Russian army does not seem to care at all about International norms: “[Russian soldiers] were shooting people even when the whole car had ‘Children’ signs on all sides. They just didn’t care. They were just getting more interested.” 

Till the present moment, approximately more than 9,000 Ukrainian civilians, including 453 children have been killed since the war started. Clearly these numbers are extremely high and the international community seems not to be able to counter the situation. On its side, CIVIC is supporting Ukrainian government and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) since 2017 and will continue to put a lot of effort to ensure the protection of civilians.


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by Alexia Tenneriello

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