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Russia intensifies air strikes against civilians in areas of Ukraine far from the front line | International

Relatives of a four-year-old girl who died in a Russian attack attended her funeral in Vinnitsia on Sunday.
Relatives of a four-year-old girl who died in a Russian attack attended her funeral in Vinnitsia on Sunday.Efrem Lukatsky (AP)

Every day civilians in Ukraine die under Russian bombs. The attacks, which sow terror among the population, accumulate in cities near the front, such as Kharkov, where rockets periodically fall on residential areas with no nearby military targets. But there are bombings that go further and have caused massacres that the United Nations analyzes as possible war crimes. These attacks occur with increasing frequency, according to the Ukrainian authorities, and in areas far from the lines of combat.

Last Thursday, an attack on a shopping center in Vinnitsa, a city in the center of the country that had not been bombed since March, killed 24 people. On Friday, three people died in Dnipro; and on Saturday, more than 50 Grad missiles fell on Nikopol, sowing fear in two towns that until then had hardly suffered any aggression from the invading army. The Ukrainian government estimates that more than 40 people have died in the last four days in attacks on towns far from the combat front.

As of July 11, the war had left more than 5,000 civilians dead and 6,520 wounded, according to the latest count available from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The agency considers that the real figure is “considerably higher”. Most of these victims are from the areas of Ukraine that Russia is bombing. For example, according to the latest data from the Office, in the provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, which make up the Donbas region, 221 people have lost their lives in the areas controlled by Russia and in those in Ukrainian hands, 2,730.

“It seems likely that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have not fully complied with international humanitarian law in the eastern parts of the country, although on a much smaller scale,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on July 5. . Bachelet put the focus above all on Russia: “The high number of civilian victims and the magnitude of the destruction caused to civilian infrastructure continue to raise great concern that the attacks carried out by the Russian Armed Forces do not comply with the right humanitarian international.

The July 14 attack on a shopping center in Vinnitsa, in broad daylight, is one of the most recent examples of a list of Russian bombings against non-military targets far from combat positions that ended in the killing of civilians. Possible war crimes being investigated in Bucha and Irpin, north of kyiv, notably summary executions of civilians, are not included in this record of airstrikes.

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Artem Dmitriev gives the last salute to his daughter Liza, 4-year-old girl killed by Russian attack, in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Sunday, July 17, 2022. Wearing a blue denim jacket with flowers, Liza was among 23 people killed, including two boys aged 7 and 8, in Thursday's missile strike in Vinnytsia.  Her mother, Iryna Dmytrieva, was among the scores injured.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Vinnitsa, July 14

24 dead and 68 wounded.

Three Kalibr precision missiles, according to local authorities in Vinnitsia, fell in a shopping center in the city at noon, causing 24 deaths and 68 injuries. The missiles were fired from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. In Vinnitsa, in the center of Ukraine, the headquarters of the country’s air forces is located.

A still image from handout CCTV footage shows the explosion as a Russian missile strike hits a shopping mall amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, at a location given as Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 28, 2022. CCTV via Instagram @zelenskiy_official/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.  MANDATORY CREDIT

Kremenchuk, June 27

20 dead, 2 missing and 59 wounded.

An X-22 missile, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, hit the Asmtor shopping center in Kremenchuk, in the center of the country, on June 27. The attack occurred in broad daylight, with hundreds of customers in the building. The result was 20 people dead and 2 still unaccounted for today. French President Emmanuel Macron has called the catastrophe a war crime.

A general view of a residential building damaged by a Russian missile strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the village of Serhiivka, Odesa region, Ukraine July 1, 2022. REUTERS/Iryna Nazarchuk

Serhiivka, July 1

22 dead and 38 wounded.

Serhiivka is a summer tourism town on the coast of Odessa. Three X-22 long-range missiles fired by the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, according to the military administration of Odessa province, hit a residential building and an adjoining recreation center in the early hours of July 1. 22 civilians were killed, most while sleeping in their homes. Six of them were minors.

Ukrainian emergency workers carry the lifeless body of a victim found under rubble after a Russian rocket attack smashed into apartment buildings late Saturday, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Monday, July 11, 2022. The attack killed at least 15 people and more than 20 people were believed still trapped according to officials.  (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Chasiv Yar, July 9

47 dead and 9 nine wounded.

The Russian army has also provoked massacres in towns that, despite being close to the front line, were not a combat zone at the time they were bombed, such as Chasiv Yar and Kramatorsk. The Russian Defense Ministry celebrated the multiple missile attack on Chasiv Yar, a municipality in the Donetsk province in the east of the country, because Ukrainian military installations were annulled. But along with these supposed military objectives, residential buildings were destroyed. In one of them 47 people died, according to the Ukrainian government.

Ukrainian servicemen stand next to a fragment of a Tochka-U missile with a writing in Russian "for children" on a grass after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Kramatorsk, April 8

59 dead and 109 wounded.

One of the attacks that caused the most international outrage was the one that occurred on April 8 against the Kramatorsk train station in Donetsk province. 59 people died, including 7 children, according to local authorities. The station was packed with citizens of the region who were being evacuated to the west by the approach of Russian troops advancing on Donbas. The attack was carried out with Toschka-U missiles. One of them had the phrase “for our children” written on it. Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out the attack because its military was not using Toschka-Us in Ukraine. Over the months it has been confirmed that the invader is indeed using this type of weaponry.

FILE - A view inside the Mariupol theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022. Ministers from dozens of nations are meeting on Thursday, July 14, 2022 in the Netherlands to discuss with the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor how best to coordinate efforts to bring to justice perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File)

Mariupol Theater, March 16

Between 300 and 600 dead.

In some of the cities that have been besieged by Russian troops, such as Mariupol and Chernihiv, massacres of civilians have also taken place. In devastated Mariupol, on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov, the bombing of the Dramatic Art Theater is the symbol of the horrors perpetrated in the city, now under Russian control. A report from last April by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described that air attack and the one on the Mariupol maternity as war crimes. In a June report, Amnesty International also concluded that what happened in the theater was a war crime because evidence indicated it was a deliberate bombing of civilians. Hundreds of neighbors took refuge in the building. The total number of deaths cannot be clarified due to the Russian blockade of external observers. The Mariupol City Council assured after the attack that the dead could be 300, especially women, less and the elderly. A May investigation by the Associated Press agency put the figure at 600.

Block of buildings destroyed after russian shelling over Chernihiv during the combats to take the city between ukrainian and russian armies.  (Photo by Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Chernihiv, March 3

43 dead and 18 wounded.

The Russian siege of Chernihiv, a city east of kyiv, between February and March, was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Russia was unable to take control of the municipality and had to withdraw, although it left behind a trail of death. On March 3, a missile attack on a residential neighborhood killed 43 people. On March 16, a bomb fell on a queue of neighbors waiting to receive humanitarian aid food, killing 14 of them, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

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