Amnesty says Russian bombing of Chernigov that left more than 45 dead could be a war crime

A person walks in front of a house destroyed by the shelling, on March 5, 2022, in Irpin, Ukraine.

A person walks in front of a house destroyed by the shelling, on March 5, 2022, in Irpin, Ukraine. – Diego Herrera – Europe Press

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The NGO stresses that the ICC Prosecutor’s Office “should investigate this bombing” and asks that those responsible be held accountable


The non-governmental organization Amnesty International has indicated this Wednesday that a bombing carried out on March 3 by Russia against the Ukrainian city of Chernigov, which left more than 45 dead, could constitute a war crime.

The NGO has indicated that its investigations indicate that the attack was carried out around 12:15 p.m. (local time) in a small square formed between two city streets, reaching dozens of civilians queuing to buy bread.

Thus, he has highlighted that his interviews and video analysis work have made it possible to determine that the attack was “very likely” a Russian bombardment in which two unguided bombs were used – known as ‘dumb bombs’ -.

“The shelling that hit the streets of Chernigov shocks the conscience. It was a ruthless and indiscriminate attack on people going about their normal lives in their homes, streets and shops,” said Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response Joanne Mariner. .

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“This shocking attack is one of the deadliest the Ukrainian people have ever endured. The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor should investigate this bombing as a war crime. Those responsible for these crimes must be brought to justice and the victims and their families must receive compensation,” he said.

The Chernigov regional administration denounced the death of 47 people after the attack, while the material verified by the NGO after the bombing shows the launch of eight munitions almost consecutively and hitting in line, a common method during bombings.

In this sense, Amnesty International has detailed that it has not been able to identify any legitimate military objective in the area and has stressed that the satellite images of February 28 show a queue of people waiting in front of the building. Based on these images and testimonies, the organization has stated that it believes that most of the victims were waiting to buy food.

Alina, a 21-year-old student, has recounted that she was at home on a nearby street when it took place. “I heard a very, very loud buzzing noise and felt our building shake. It was like our floor inflated and after two seconds I heard the windows bursting. Our building moved a lot, I thought there weren’t going to be any walls left in foot,” he said.

Alina’s parents were in the street at the time of the explosion, although they survived the attack. “In a yellow building (nearby) there was a line to buy bread and that’s where they wanted to go. I don’t remember if it was my mother or my father. One of them said: ‘No, the line is very long, let’s go’. They left. The people who were in the queue are no longer there,” he lamented.

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For her part, Yulia Matvienko, 33, has stated that she was at home at the time of the attack. “I was walking down the hall and hadn’t made it to the kitchen when I went deaf. I didn’t understand what was going on. Everything started to crack and fall. The kids screamed. For seconds it’s like there’s silence and time stands still,” he said. pointed.

“Then I pulled the children out of the rubble. I was dripping with blood and I pulled my children out. Everything was destroyed and the door had been ripped off. There was not a single window left and some balconies had been completely torn off. The children did not get a scratch. It’s a miracle, they only had my blood on top,” he said.

Amnesty International has noted that the launch of unguided munitions in populated areas is prohibited, as are all indiscriminate attacks. Thus, he pointed out that the videos show a bomb crater consistent with a surface impacted by an ammunition of about 500 kilograms.

“All states must cooperate with the ICC and the new Commission of Inquiry established by the United Nations Human Rights Council to help ensure that there is accountability for grave violations and crimes like this attack. Victims of the conflict must receive justice,” Mariner concluded.

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