Statement on the false allegations against the Russian Federation made by Ukraine to cover-up its own violations of international law and military crimes against civilian population of Donbass as well as Kharkov, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions
I. Ukraine’s allegations are based on distortion of facts, unproven allegations and fraudulent arguments.
In the media, as well as on international platforms including the International Court of Justice Ukraine groundlessly blames Russia for ‘brutal use of force against Ukraine, including indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, systematic executions of civilians, deportation of children, razing of Mariupol, blockade of ports and other atrocities’ during the special military operation commenced by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022.
The Ukraine’s allegations are based on the blatant distortion of facts, unsubstantiated allegations, and fraudulent arguments. With clearly selective and manipulative approach, Ukraine blames Russia for military crimes committed by its own armed forces and other security agencies, as well as by the nationalistic battalions.
Kiev has descended to staging bloody incidents to demonize Russia in the eyes of the international community and create an emotional background in order swing foreign states and international bodies into adopting anti-Russian political decisions. Such incidents have been already seen in Bucha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Kremenchug.
The most egregious example of Ukraine’s misrepresentation of facts is a fictional story of ‘the Bucha massacre’. The Ukrainian and western mass-media have also distributed multiple picture of the ‘bodies found in a street in Bucha in April 2022’, taken from propagandist visuals spread by Ukrainian mass-media in early April 2022.
In its Memorial to the ICJ of 1 July 2022, Ukraine groundlessly blames the Russian Federation for killing civilians in the town of Bucha, Kiev region. With reference to an unreliable source, Ukraine states that:
“In early April, Ukrainian forces liberating the town of Bucha near Kyiv found the bodies of civilians executed in the streets. As reported by the OSCE, civilians were “killed with their hands tied” and mass graves have been uncovered… According to Amnesty International, Russia executed five men in Bucha between 4 and 10 March…”
Blaming Russia for ‘the Bucha massacre’, Ukraine, at the same time, did not bring any evidence confirming that any civilians have been murdered in Bucha when the Russian Armed Forces were present in the town and not shortly after they left. Ukraine has also not yet given the very basic information about whether the names of the dead were established and what post-mortem examinations showed.
It is worth noting that on 31 March 2022, the Bucha town council published a video message from the town major Anatoly Fedoruk, who reported on ‘liberation of Bucha from the invaders’ and did not mention any “bodies of the killed” lying on the town’s streets:
Dear friends! Distinguished Bucha community! 31 March will be memorized in the history as the day of liberation of our township from the Russian invaders by our Ukrainian armed forces. I’m just stating the fact that it’s a joyous day! A day of a great victory of our armed forces on the Kiev land! And we definitely will see the victory throughout the whole Ukraine! Hail to our Armed forces! Hail to Ukraine! Hail to every Ukrainian in every place of our country!
On 2 April 2022, the National Police of Ukraine published a video footage in its Telegram channel of special units of the Ukrainian armed forces (the “UAF”) entering Bucha. No civilian casualties can be seen in this footage. It was emphasized that the UAF and other military formations had embarked on a mopping-up operation. In another video, published by Serhii “Boatswain” Korotkikh, who was the leader of the territorial defense units that had entered the town, members of a territorial defense battalion can clearly be heard consulting with each other as to whether or not they could shoot at people who were not wearing blue armbands indicating that they support the Kiev regime. An affirmative answer is also heard; in other words, shooting was allowed. Korotkikh subsequently removed the video, but copies remain in the public domain.
While Bucha was under the control of the Russian armed forces, no roads out of the town were blocked. The residents were able to move freely around the town. All local residents were free to leave the settlement in a northern direction, as well as to neighboring countries. At the same time, the southern suburbs of the town, including residential areas, were shelled day and night by the UAF using large-caliber artillery, tanks and multiple-launch rocket systems.
During the time that Bucha was controlled by the Russian armed forces, over 452 tons of humanitarian aid were delivered to settlements in the Kiev region by the Russian military and distributed to civilians.
This shows that the so called “Bucha massacre” was a monstrous (by both scale and performance) staged provocation by the Kiev with the only aim to push its Western allies to provide heavy weapons to Ukraine. As Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba admitted in an interview to BBC on 4 April 2022,
the Bucha massacre should remove any kind of hesitation and reluctance in the West to provide Ukraine with all necessary weapons, including planes, tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and armoured vehicles.
Remarkably, on 17 August 2022, the Kiev City Prosecutor’s Office brought charges of “denial of the Russian armed aggression” under Article 4362 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine against a local resident of Irpen, Kiev region (1 km to the south of Bucha). According to the case file, the accused woman “denied the facts of murders and violence against civilians by the Russian military in her phone conversations with relatives”.
On 1 September 2022, Russian journalist Mr. Maxim Grigoriev published an interview with French journalist Mr. Adrian Boke, who visited Bucha in early April 2022 as part of the Western mass-media delegation. Mr. Adrian Boke confirmed that he was aware of the staged nature of the so called ‘Bucha massacre’. He stated, inter alia, that:
‘Of course, a journalist waiting the corpses to be piled together on the road cannot but know what’s happening… There was raining in Bucha for two days before we came, so the bodies were very dirty, and their hands were not tied at first… And then they [Ukrainians] showed me pictures of corpses with their hands tied with very clean rags or bandages, which I had never seen when I was in Bucha… Well, it was very strange… How could one explain the fact that on very dirty corpses, despite the fact that it rained for two days, there were very clean bandages… One of the volunteers who came to Bucha before me told me that they carried corpses from one house to another, and then they took them to Bucha and laid them out… Well, what I saw with my very own eyes is how the corpses were taken out of the cars and laid out in piles’.
2. Mariupol Maternity House
Another fake story of the Ukrainian propaganda is a story of “a Russian airstrike against the Mariupol Maternity House”. Ukrainian and Western media spread a picture of “emergency workers carrying an injured pregnant woman outside a bombed Maternity Hospital in Mariupol on 9 March 2022”. This photograph was published by Associated Press on 15 March 2022 and then replicated by various Ukrainian and foreign mass-media. It is also present in the Ukraine’s Memorial to the ICJ of 1 July 2022.
Mrs. Marianna Vyshemirskaya, who was indeed a patient of the Mariupol Maternity Hospital in early March 2022, posted some video messages in her Instagram account and gave a series of interview to the foreign mass-media confirming that the story, as presented by Ukraine, is very fishy because the press could not react so quickly to the explosions in the maternity house and simply waited outside the building. She said that there was no air strike on the maternity hospital. In reality, unidentified military members set up a stronghold right inside the hospital building, forced most of the patients to leave and seized food from those who remained. After Ms. Vyshemirskaya heard the explosions, an Associated Press photographer (who later turned out to Ukrainian journalist Evgeniy Maloletka) was waiting for her right outside the building.
Moreover, on 1 April 2022 Ms. Vyshemirskaya made an open appeal to the Ukrainian armed formations to stop using civilians as human shields.
On 11 April 2022, Mrs. Marianna Vyshemirskaya was interviewed by an Italian VisiOne TV journalist Giorgio Bianci. She said as follows:
‘The days of 8 and 9 March were very quiet. And then on 9 March we were in our rooms chatting quietly, with the boxes they gave us with the things for the babies, for the women who had given birth and were about to leave… Then we felt explosions. I was able to cover myself with a blanket. Also the women, some lied on the floor, some covered themselves. Then we heard a second explosion. And we heard a sound of broken glass. And there were also so much dust, it was hard to breath. They asked me, if there was an aerial raid. I said that no one heard an aerial raid, because the explosions happened, there were no other noises, before or after. If it was an aerial attack, we would have heard. Many said that I’m a blogger and can’t know how is an aerial raid. But, excuse me, when a plane flies, everyone can hear it… I am shocked at how the reporters were able to film all that. They were already there and filmed both explosions. I was very surprised. The first question I had in my mind, did they already know, it was going to happen? How were they able to arrive so quickly? There were many things I didn’t like about those AP reporters’.
3. Mariupol Drama Theater
Another example of an abhorrent act blamed by Ukraine on the Russian Federation is the explosive demolition of the Mariupol theatre by extremists from the “Azov” nationalists’ battalion, followed by allegations of “Russian bombing of civilians”. This deliberate provocation was carried out in order to create a catchy fake on the eve of yet another Security Council meeting on Ukraine scheduled for 17 March 2022 so that the Kiev regime would be in a position to ask for more Western weapons.
During a search and rescue operation by the DPR EMERCOM at the Mariupol theatre, 14 bodies were found, most of which belonged to “Azov” fighters. Not a single remnant of an air-dropped bomb was found at the scene. An official investigation by the DPR Prosecutor-General’s office determined that the collapse of the Drama theatre was caused by explosion of ammunition belonging to “Azov” that was stored in the building. Almost all the civilians managed to escape the building long before the explosion took place.
II. Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed its troops and heavy military equipment in residential areas, using civilian houses and socially significant facilities as a cover.
Even before the special military operation commenced by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022, the UAF had widely used residential areas and socially significant facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions to cover its troops and heavy weapons. Thus, local civilians were used as a “human shield” by Ukraine. At the same time, the UAF intentionally used weapon systems from residential areas aiming to provoke return fire and then blame Russia and DPR and LPR militia for the consequences.
The UAF troops and heavy equipment, deployed in residential areas close to the contact line in violation of the Minsk Package of Measures, were spotted multiple times by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (hereinafter – “OSCE SMM”) monitors. For example, in the Daily Report of 31 March 2018 OSCE SMM reported on digging trenches outside of civilian house occupied by UAF military personnel:
An SMM mini-UAV spotted on 29 March recently dug trenches about 40m from a residential house on the south-eastern edge of Travneve (government-controlled, 51km north-east of Donetsk).
The picture of the above-mentioned house was later demonstrated by the OSCE SMM deputy head, Mr. Alexander Hug, while delivering the briefing for the Diplomatic Corps at the SMM headquarters in Kiev on 30 March 2018.
On 4 December 2018, an SMM mini-UAV spotted a surface-to-air missile system (9K33 Osa) near Klynove (68km north-east of Donetsk) along with a group of UAF soldiers outside of an occupied civilian house.
In Disengagement Areas, UAF used civilian houses as a cover for trenches and armoured vehicles, in order to be able to maintain their position, illegally taken in so called ‘grey zone’. Thus, in OSCE SMM Daily Report of 23 April 2018 it was emphasized, that:
The SMM observed armoured combat vehicles and an anti-aircraft gun in the security zone. In government-controlled areas, the SMM saw on 20 April four infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) (BMP-2) and an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRDM-2) near Zolote-1/Soniachnyi, two IFVs (BMP-2) near Zolote, five IFVs (BMP-2) near Zolote-3/Stahanovets, an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (BRM-1K) near Zolote 2 (60km west of Luhansk)… On 21 April, the SMM saw… three armoured reconnaissance vehicles (BRDM-2) and two IFVs (BMP-1) on flatbed trucks near Zolote… On 22 April, the SMM saw two IFVs (BMP-2) near Zolote…
The picture of one of the above mentioned IFV’s captured by OSCE SMM mini-UAV was demonstrated during the OSCE SMM Deputy Head Mr. Alexander Hug’s briefing for the Diplomatic Corps in Kiev, on 14 May 2018.
Moreover, the UAF have never been shy of setting up their positions in close vicinity, literally in the backyards, of such socially important facilities as schools, kindergartens, hospitals, libraries, cultural centres, even when those objects remained operational with plenty of students or patients inside. In SMM Daily Report of 24 May 2018 it was noticed that:
Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites, in government-controlled areas, on 22 May an SMM mini-UAV spotted three surface-to-air missile systems (9K35) about 50m south-east of a school building in Tarasivka (43km north-west of Donetsk)… In violation of withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas, on 21 May an SMM mini-UAV spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K35 Strela-10) in a residential area of Teple (31km north of Luhansk) within 200m of a civilian house, on 22 May an SMM mini-UAV spotted a surface-to-air missile system (9K35) about 2km north-east of Teple, an SMM long-range UAV spotted two surface-to-air missile systems (9K33 Osa).
The pictures of the above mentioned UAF equipment along with students staying outside of the school buildings were later demonstrated by the SMM deputy head Mr. Alexander Hug while delivering the briefing for the Diplomatic Corps at the SMM headquarters in Kiev on 1 June 2018.
Figure 1: Civilian properties occupied by UAF in Travnevoye, Donetsk region, 29 March 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 30 March 2018, Kiev
Figure 2: 2 UAF BMP-1 IFV within Zolotoye (Disengagement Area-2), Lugansk region, 24 April 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 14 May 2018, Kiev
Figure 3: UAF-occupied Civilian house in Zolotoye (Disengagement Area-2), Lugansk region, 24 April 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 14 May, 2018, Kiev
Figure 4: UAF command bunker and headquarters within the public school building in Teploye, Lugansk region, 21 May 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 1 June 2018, Kiev
Figure 5: UAF Surface to Air system close to a civilian house occupied by UAF in Klinovoye, Donetsk region, 4 December 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 18 January 2019, Kiev
Figure 6: UAF Surface to Air missiles 52 meters from public school in Tarasovka, Donetsk region, 22 May 2018. OSCE SMM briefing of 1 June 2018, Kiev
After the Russian Federation commenced the special military operation on 24 February 2022, the UAF extended this practice to the entire Ukrainian territory, so that in case of return fire they would be able to accuse the Russian Federation of “attacking civilians” and “destruction of civilian infrastructure”. Schools, kindergartens, hospitals, libraries, cultural centres and other socially significant facilities were used by the UAF for barracks and ammunition storage.
While the Russian Federation, in order to protect the civilian population and avoid needless losses, provided humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and foreign nationals in the Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov and Mariupol areas on at least 26 occasions, the Ukrainian side always categorically refused to allow citizens to safely evacuate to the Russian territory. Ukraine even ignored the fact that by the end of March 2022 the Russian authorities had received over 2.7 million appeals from residents of Ukraine requesting such evacuations.
Figure 7: UAF soldiers occupied kindergarten in Verkhnetoretskoye, Donetsk region, 18 May 2022
Armed formations of Ukrainian nationalists’ battalions, who reported to the UAF, not only used civilians as human shields, but also tortured and abused those who remained in territories under their control. There have been cases of extremely cruel treatment of and reprisals against civil rights activists who expressed disagreement with the ideas propagated by nationalists. Shocking discoveries have been made of the bodies of civilians tortured to death in the torture chambers of the nationalist battalions, including in Mariupol. Wounds in the form of burned and carved swastikas have been found on their bodies.
The most critical situation developed in Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of civilians were taken hostage in this way. Ukrainian nationalists there mined every approach road to the city, blew up bridges and turned residential areas, kindergartens and schools, medical facilities and other civilian infrastructure into military strongpoints. All appeals by the Russian side calling on the Kiev authorities to ensure that civilians can move to safe areas have been completely ignored.
In addition, fighters of the Ukrainian nationalist battalions seized for military purposes and used vehicles of international organizations and global commercial companies. Such cases have been recorded in Kharkov, Mariupol, Kiev and other cities.
On 29 March 2022, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, made a special statement over the matter at the United Nations Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine:
We cannot but express concern over reoccurring cases of confiscation of UN-marked vehicles by Ukrainian armed forces. It is positive that the Secretariat recognized at last that such offenses had taken place in Kharkov and Mariupol. We look forward to receiving a reply to our recent query regarding a vehicle with diplomatic license plate DP210015 that took part, as evidenced by eye-witnesses, in combat operations of Ukrainian nationalists in Kharkov…
We are also aware of cases when radicals use OSCE vehicles. Our colleagues in Vienna have full information regarding such incidents. It is important that both international organizations give a fair assessment to such facts. By the way, it is clear from Internet publications that Ukrainian armed forces have some DHL vehicles at their disposal and use them to transport weapons. So we cannot exclude that vehicles of international organizations or vehicles with medical symbols may be used as cover-up for importing from neighboring states to Ukraine all those weapons that the West generously promised to Kiev.
At the 1363rd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 17 March 2022, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE, Mr. Alexander Lukashevich, drew attention of the Member States to the fact that:
According to reliable information at our disposal received directly from Mariupol, several SMM vehicles along with their keys were handed over to Azov nationalist battalion fighters back in February.
Figure 8: UAF-hijacked UN soft-skin vehicle in Kharkov, late March 2022
Figure 9: DHL van used by UAF to transport mortars, late March 2022, Kiev region
Figure 10: UAF mortar transported with DHL van
On 4 August 2022, Amnesty International published the results of its inspection in Donbas, Kharkov and Nikolayev regions. Even though this organisation has been historically biased against the Russian Federation and in favour of Ukraine, its main conclusion was nevertheless that:
Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals, as they repelled the Russian invasion that began in February, Amnesty International said today.
Amnesty International has also concluded, that such tactics of Ukraine “violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets”
The Amnesty International also noted that:
‘Researchers found evidence of Ukrainian forces launching strikes from within populated residential areas as well as basing themselves in civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages in the regions… Survivors and witnesses of Russian strikes in the Donbas, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions told Amnesty International researchers that the Ukrainian military had been operating near their homes around the time of the strikes, exposing the areas to retaliatory fire from Russian forces…’.
Amnesty International researchers interviewed local residents in Donbas, Kharkov and Nikolayev regions, who believed that the strikes by the Russian Armed Forces were caused exactly by the UAF presence in residential area contrary to the international humanitarian law:
Mykola, who lives in a tower block in a neighbourhood of Lysychansk (Donbas) that was repeatedly struck by Russian attacks which killed at least one older man, told Amnesty International: “I don’t understand why our military is firing from the cities and not from the field.” Another resident, a 50-year-old man, said: “There is definitely military activity in the neighborhood. When there is outgoing fire, we hear incoming fire afterwards.” Amnesty International researchers witnessed soldiers using a residential building some 20 meters from the entrance of the underground shelter used by the residents where the older man was killed.
Amnesty International has also found evidence of UAF presence in healthcare facilities and educational institutions throughout the country:
Amnesty International researchers witnessed Ukrainian forces using hospitals as de facto military bases in five locations. In two towns, dozens of soldiers were resting, milling about, and eating meals in hospitals. In another town, soldiers were firing from near the hospital.
A Russian air strike on 28 April injured two employees at a medical laboratory in a suburb of Kharkiv after Ukrainian forces had set up a base in the compound.
The Ukrainian military has routinely set up bases in schools in towns and villages in Donbas and in the Mykolaiv area. Schools have been temporarily closed to students since the conflict began, but in most cases the buildings were located close to populated civilian neighbourhoods.
At 22 out of 29 schools visited, Amnesty International researchers either found soldiers using the premises or found evidence of current or prior military activity – including the presence of military fatigues, discarded munitions, army ration packets and military vehicles.
In Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces were using a university building as a base when a Russian strike hit on 21 May, reportedly killing seven soldiers. The university is adjacent to a high-rise residential building which was damaged in the strike, alongside other civilian homes roughly 50 meters away. Amnesty International researchers found the remains of a military vehicle in the courtyard of the bombed university building.
The UAF troops and heavy equipment have been repeatedly spotted in residential areas by foreign journalists and/or local residents, who then posted photos and videos of those in the media and/or social networks:
Inside the city of Bakhmut on Wednesday, at a position where soldiers of the 58th Brigade are garrisoned in an abandoned municipal building, the whistles of their colleagues’ shells could be heard sailing overhead — aimed at Russian forces to the east of town… The soldiers stood in a courtyard, smoking and listening to the whizzing of shells overhead and thuds of explosions in the distance… A few trucks were parked in the yard and a dozen or so soldiers milled about.
In February-March 2022, some local Kiev residents posted in social networks photos and videos of UAF heavy vehicles harbored within the premises of the ‘Retroville’ shopping center, located in Vinogradar district in the north of Kiev. There was also posted a video of UAF MLRS ‘Grad’ firing from the parking lot of the mall. On 21 March 2022, the Directorate of Media service and Information of the Russian Defense Ministry’ published a detailed video footage of the above mentioned UAF MLRS ‘Grad’ firing from the outside of the ‘Retroville’ mall.
Later on 21 March 2022, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) detained a local resident Mr. Pavel Artemiev for posting pictures of UAF military equipment near the shopping center. The SSU officers have also forced the man to ‘apologize’ for his ‘misbehavior’ in front of the camera.
On the same day, the Ukrainian news agency “dev.ua” published an article titled “The shopping center “Retroville” in Kiev destroyed after somebody had posted a photo of military vehicles parked there. That’s all about why one should not do so”. The author, Mrs. Anna Nagorna, especially noted that:
The tragedy could have been avoided if users don’t post pictures of our military equipment, parked near the shopping center… After the tragedy some photos were found on the Internet… depicting armored vehicles in the hangar… One can see a vehicle moving out… Later, an author of one of the photos was found. It appeared to be a Kiev resident named Pavel. He took the picture on 24 February, but decided to post it recently, because ‘everybody was doing so’.
[The man wrote: Do you know why there was an incoming strike in Retroville? Because some stupid [swear] or little [swear] posted the photo with our weaponry.]
Figure 11: Shopping Center Retroville in Kiev used as UAF military equipment storage
Figure 12: UAF soldier carrying non-exploded MLRS ‘Grad’ rocket previously stored in Retroville shopping center, Kiev, 21 March 2022
III. Ukraine’s innuendos on ‘Russia’s deadly atrocities in Ukraine’ are aimed to diverse attention from the military crimes committed by Ukraine itself in Donbass and the Azov sea region.
The UAF constantly shell residential areas in Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Thus, since the spring of 2014, UAF have committed numerous deadly atrocities in the DPR and LPR, including the above-mentioned acts of shelling Alchevsk, Donetsk, Khartsyzk, Logvinovo and other cities.
Since the beginning of the special military operation on 24 February 2022, the residential areas of Donetsk, Horlovka, Makeevka, Yelenovka almost daily have been subjected to multiple barbaric acts of shelling from the UAF positions with dozens of people killed and hundreds wounded. Using a “scorched earth” tactic Ukraine has also committed a series of barbaric bombardments of Berdyansk, Kherson, Melitopol, Novaya Kakhovka and other cities of the Azov Sea region.
On 24 August 2022, at the Security Council briefing on Ukraine the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, stated that:
Criminal shelling of the republics of Donbas does not stop. According to available assessments, since the beginning of the escalation in the Donetsk People’s Republic in February more than 840 people have died along the line of contact, about 2,800 were injured. In the Luhansk People’s Republic, 80 people were killed and more than 250 were injured. About a hundred civilians have been killed in just four weeks since the previous meeting on July 29.
On 14 March 2022 at about 11.30 a.m. Moscow time a Tochka-U tactical missile with a cluster warhead was fired at a residential block in the center of Donetsk from the territory controlled by the Kiev authorities. This assault led to the killing of 23 civilians while 37, including children, women and elderly people, were injured and taken to medical institutions.
On 16 March 2022, Russia circulated within the United Nations as an official document of the Security Council and the General Assembly a letter by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations (A/76/761-S/2022/233), in which it emphasized that the use of such weapons in a city where there are no firing positions of the armed forces constitutes a war crime. In particular, it was stated that this horrific attack by the Kiev authorities violated the very basic yet important rule of international humanitarian law enshrined in Article 48 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June 1977:
“Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives”.
Photo- and video evidence from the Russian Ministry of Defense provides a shocking illustration that this attack was carried out with the use of a cluster warhead and led to the death of civilians in the street.
On 6 July 2022, UAF committed another shelling of residential areas in Donetsk, killing 5 children. On the same night, President Zelenskiy said that:
finally it is felt that the Western artillery—the weapons we received from our partners— started working very powerfully. Its accuracy is exactly as needed.
Figure 13: Victims of UAF Tochka-U missile explosion in Donetsk, 14 March 2022
On 8 April 2022, UAF carried out a “Tochka-U” air strike from the area of Dobropolye (45 km southwest of Kramatorsk) against the Kramatorsk railway terminal, killing 50 people, including five children. 98 people were taken to hospitals of Kramatorsk, including 16 children, 46 women, and 36 men.
Ukraine groundlessly blames Russia for this horrific military crime despite facts showing the Ukrainian authorship of the shelling. Importantly, Russian troops simply do not use “Tochka-U” tactical missile systems.
An analysis of the area damaged by the “Tochka-U” missile warhead and the position of the missile’s tail clearly confirm that it was fired from an area south-west of Kramatorsk. One of the divisions of the 19th Missile Brigade of UAF equipped with “Tochka-U” missile systems was located near Dobropolye, 45 kilometers south-west of Kramatorsk, at the time of the strike.
Eyewitnesses and journalists took pictures on the scene, making it possible for everyone to see the serial number of the missile belonging to “Ш915” series. Missiles of the same series were used on many occasions to shell peaceful cities of Donbas. There was debris of those missiles displaying corresponding serial numbers.
In particular, the 19th Missile Brigade of UAF used same type of projectile in their air strike against the Donetsk city center on 14 March 2022. Moreover, missiles carrying similar serial numbers were used by UAF to shell Khartsyzk, Donetsk region, on 5 September 2014 (Ш915622), Alchevsk, Lugansk region, on 2 February 2015 (Ш91565), Logvinovo, Donetsk region, on 13 February 2015 (Ш91566, Ш915527, Ш915328), Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, on 17 March 2022 (Ш915516) and Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region, on 19 March 2022 (Ш915611).
On 19 September 2022, the UAF shelled Kuybyshevsky district of Donetsk, leaving 13 killed including 2 children. On 22 September 2022, the UAF shelled the Central Market in Donetsk with 6 killed.
Figure 14: Screenshot from an Italian TeleGiornale La7 newscast for 8 April 2022, depicting a serial number of the UAF Tocka-U missile, exploded at the Kramatorsk railway station
Figure 15: Serial number of UAF Tochka-U missile (Ш915622) exploded in Khartsyzk, Donetsk region, on 5 September 2014
Figure 16: Serial number of UAF Tochka-U missile (Ш91565), exploded in Alchevsk, Lugansk region, on 2 February 2015
Figure 17: Serial number of UAF Tochka-U missile (Ш915516) exploded in Melitopol, Zaporozhye region, on 18 March 2022
At the same time, multiple launch rocket systems with cluster warheads were used to sow residential areas of DPR and LPR with thousands of anti-personnel PFM-1 “Lepestok” landmines killing and injuring civilians. Hundreds of mines of this type were spread over the residential areas of Donetsk in late July – early August 2022. According to the DPR’s representative to the Joint Center for Coordination and Control (JCCC), 46 people were injured by mines of that type, as of the late August 2022.
Figure 18: 15-year old boy injured by UAF PFM-1 ‘Lepestok’ land-mine in Donetsk, 11 August 2022
On 12 July 2022, the Ukrainian artillery shelled Novaya Kakhovka, Kherson region from M142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket system that it had received from the USA, leaving seven people killed and more than 100 wounded.
On 19 July 2022, the UAF conducted another shelling of Novaya Kakhovka from M142 HIMARS MLRS, trying to destroy the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. Such actions, if successful, would cause massive flooding of the whole territory of Kherson region and suspension of water circulation along the North Crimean Canal towards Crimea, leaving the Peninsula without reliable water supply.
On 29 July 2022, the Ukrainian artillery shelled Yelenovka, DPR, also from M142 HIMARS MLRS. As a result of a direct hit, one of the barracks of the DPR Penal Colony No. 120 (IK-120) was destroyed, leaving 50 people killed and about 100 wounded, mostly captured Ukrainian militants, which had been held in that penitentiary.
It was a well-known fact, that the Ukrainian military and the nationalists from the NGU “Azov” regiment captured by the Russian Armed Forces and DPR People’s Militia in different parts of Donbass, mostly Mariupol, were held in IK-120. These inmates actively cooperated with Russian investigative authorities and testified on war crimes committed by the Ukrainian side. They freely contacted their relatives in Ukraine and informed them of the normal conditions of their detention. Such situation seriously undermined efforts of Ukraine’s propaganda, painting a grim picture in DPR and LPR penitentiaries and blaming Russia for “war crimes”. Thus, in order to cover up the inconvenient truth, Ukraine decided to silence its own soldiers and officers with heavy weapons, received from abroad. This violent attack was also aimed at threatening other Ukrainian military, so that they do not surrender or testify against Kiev.
Figure 19: Consequences of UAF shelling of Penitentiary No. 120 in Yelenovka, DPR
Figure 20: Debris of UAF HIMARS rockets exploded in Yelenovka penitentiary
Ukraine groundlessly blames Russia for ‘causing extreme environmental harm, while the Russian troops entered the Chernobyl protected zone, tearing up radioactive soil and increasing the background level of radiation in the area twentyfold’. But in fact, no single incident took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant during the time it was under the Russian control. At the same time, irresponsible and terrorist behavior of Ukraine itself causing risk of an unprecedented environmental damage.
In early August 2022, the UAF have several times used heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, including the GMLRS-type rockets for M142 HIMARS systems received from the US, against the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe – the Zaporozhye NPP and the city of Energodar, Zaporozhye region. Those attacks pose a direct threat to safety and security of the plant.
On 5 August 2022, a strike by UAF damaged energy and gas supply infrastructure that was critical for the operation of the ZNPP. The strike hit pipelines, which resulted in the ignition at the hydrogen hub and disabled a high-voltage power transmission line. Apparently, it was done in order to frighten the personnel, who are all Ukrainian citizens, prevent them from going to work and thus undermine the normal functioning of the facility.
On 6 August 2022, the UAF attacked the ZNPP with cluster munition. Shell fragments hit the area where a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and a station for computer-assisted monitoring of the radiation situation were located. A staff member was injured.
A shelling by the UAF on 7 August 2022 caused a voltage surge in the NPP’s electricity grid. The attack damaged the equipment which triggered an automatic shut-off of the power transmission line. At Unit 4 of the Zaporozhye NPP (which was working to 10% of its total capacity), power supply of the safety systems stopped, however emergency protection worked properly. Ukrainian personnel of the plant had to stop one of the three working Units, and switch over the others to 50 % of full capacity.
Massive UAF strikes against the suburbs of Energodar caused more than 40 disruptions of electricity transmission lines, which left the city without energy supply. There are casualties among the residents of Energodar, many of whom are employed at the ZNPP. What’s most appalling is the fact that some of the attacks happened at night when people were sleeping.
Previously, from April to July, Kiev has already committed a number of provocations against the ZNPP with the help of combat UAVs, i.a. of Polish manufacture. Part of them could be downed. Another part – explosive-laden drones – detonated in the vicinity of critical infrastructure.
On 23 August 2022, the Russian Federation called a meeting of the UN Security Council regarding Kiev’s attacks in Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, including the ongoing shelling of the ZNPP by UAF, which is bringing Europe to the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, inter alia, emphasized that:
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense and the military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye region, on August 11, units of the 44th artillery brigade of Ukrainian armed forces shelled the station with 152-millimeter guns. As a result of the strikes, the equipment of the spray pools of nuclear reactor’s cooling system was damaged.
On August 14, the Ukrainian armed forces fired 10 shells at Zaporozhye NPP with 155-mm shells from American-made M-777 howitzer, and also launched two guided munitions. As a result of the shelling of the city of Energodar, one person died, another was wounded. On August 15, 30 shells were fired from 152-millimeter guns. August 17, 11 shells were launched as well as a Polish-made kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicle. Three strikes were made with loitering munition on Energodar.
On August 18, Energodar was shelled 7 times with heavy artillery. On August 20, strikes on the station were made from Ukrainian positions using heavy artillery and American-made 155-millimetre shells with American-made M-379 fuses. An artillery strike was carried out in the area of the special buildings No. 1 and No. 2 and the laboratory and amenities building. As a result, the building of the laboratory and amenities building No. 2, the building of the hydraulic engineering unit and the station lighting were damaged. Immediately after the shelling of the station, fire was opened on the suburbs of Energodar.
On August 22, an unmanned aerial vehicle attacked the area of the laboratory building No. 2. In addition, American long-range artillery was used to shell the thermal tower station in Energodar. According to reports, one civilian was killed and one injured.
Assassinating political activists, journalists and representatives of the local authorities in the liberated areas of Ukraine and even in the Russian Federation is an intimidation tactic of Kiev.
On 23 May 2022, the Major of Energodar, Zaporozhye region, Mr. Andrey Shevchik, was seriously wounded after an explosive device planted at the entrance of his house had gone off. On 22 June 2022, Head of the Chernobayevka town administration (Kherson region), Mr. Yury Turulev was injured after an explosive device planted on his way in the residential area blew up. On 11 July 2022, the Russian military mine cleaners defused an explosive device planted on the way of the Kherson region Military and Civil administration Mr. Vladimir Saldo. On the same day, the Head of the Velikiy Burluk, Kharkov region, town administration Mr. Yevgeniy Yunakov died after an explosive device planted under his car went off. In Melitopol, Zaporozhye region, the law enforcement officers eliminated a Ukrainian attempted to murder the Melitopol district Head of Administration Mr. Andrey Siguta. On 5 August 2022, the SSU Agent planted an explosive device under the car of the Berdyansk major Mr. Alexander Saulenko. On 20 August 2022, a self-made explosive device went off near the entrance to the Mariupol city Zoo at the time of arrival of the Mariupol major Mr. Konstantin Ivaschenko. On 22 August 2022, the Head of the Mikhaylovka town administration, Zaporozhye region, Mr. Ivan Sushko died after an explosive device planted under his car exploded. On 23 August 2022, the Ukrainian saboteurs attempted to murder the Deputy Head of the Kherson region Military and Civil administration Mr. Igor Telegin with an explosive device planted hear his house.
On 21 August 2022, a Russian political analyst and journalist Ms. Daria Dugina was killed, as an explosive device planted under her car went off and the vehicle caught fire. Ms. Dugina, who was driving the car, died at the scene near the village of Bolshiye Vyazemy. This heinous crime was promptly investigated by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Its investigators identified the suspect, who turned out to be a Ukrainian citizen and the NGU “Azov” regiment officer Natalia Vovk, and traced her movements from entering Russian territory.
Ukraine’s involvement in the above-mentioned assassinations evidenced, inter alia, by public statements of the Ukrainian officials and diplomats. After the murder of Ms. Daria Dugina Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan Pavel Vrublevsky openly declared: “We are trying to kill as many of them as possible. The more Russians we kill now, the less our children will have to kill. That’s all”. The offensive statement by the high-ranking Ukrainian diplomat was strongly condemned by the Republic of Kazakhstan Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Yermukhambet Konuspayev, who stressed the inadmissibility of such declarations and its inconsistency with the Ambassadorial status.
Ukraine groundlessly blames Russia for “extrajudicial killings”. At the same time, multiple cases of extrajudicial murders, violence and humiliation towards civilians committed by the Ukrainian military, special services and nationalists on the ethnic, language and/or religious basis, have been confirmed by photo and video circulated online, as well as by the local and foreign mass-media.
Since the beginning of special military operation in Ukraine, videos shared on social networks and in local media outlets have shown disturbing scenes: people tied to poles in the street, sometimes stripped of their clothing and beaten. These incidents have occurred all around the country, often as punishment for people accused of theft. While a part of the population accepts this practice – and some authorities even encourage it – local human rights associations condemn it as “illegal and unacceptable”.
Figure 21. A Russian-speaking woman taped to pole for alleged looting, Dnepr, August 2022
Since the very beginning of the special military operation, the Ukrainian authorities resorted to practice of distribution of weapons to an indefinite circle of persons in order to create an atmosphere of intimidation throughout the country. As of the late February, only in Kiev, more than 18 thousands assault rifles were distributed without verifying the identities. Thus, thousands of random people, including criminals, robbers, mob members, smugglers and nationalists were armed and didn’t hold back to use this weapon to commit crimes and/or during clashes between them. As a result, hundreds of Ukrainians were arrested and/or wounded or even killed without charge or trial.
According to the Ukrainian media resources, at least three ambulances were shot by the illegally armed persons from the so called ‘territorial defense troops’ in the outskirts of Kiev in March 2022. On 7 March 2022, in Radomyshl, Zhytomyr region, a 12 year-old boy Daniil Belchenko was shot by drunk members of the local ‘territorial defense’, who took him for a ‘Russian commando’.
[The caption says: That moment when you are evacuating the wounded from the middle of nowhere and being killed by a redneck at a checkpoint]
Figure 22. Ambulance car shot by Ukrainian ‘territorial defense’, Vyshgorod, Kiev region, late March 2022
It has been reliably established that Ukrainian armed formations were subjecting captured Russian military personnel to torture, violence and humiliation. At the same time, they were actively disseminating such videos on the Internet and in the media.
On 4 April 2022, the New York Times verified the authenticity of a previously released video showed a group of Ukrainian soldiers killing captured Russian soldiers in the village of Dmitrivka, about ten kilometers southwest of Bucha, Kiev region. The video was probably made around 30 March 2022 when Ukrainians ambushed a Russian convoy while the Russian Armed forces were withdrawn from smaller cities west of Kiev.
 See: Case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). Memorial by Ukraine of 1 July 2022.
 Ibid, Para. 65, 66.
 Accessed at: https://t.me/UA_National_Police/2932
 She denied the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine – residents of Irpen were informed of the suspicion (17 August 2022). Accessed at: https://kyiv.gp.gov.ua/ua/news.html?_m=publications&_t=rec&id=318136&fp=20
 Accessed at: https://t.me/grigoriev_maxim/253
 See: Case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). Memorial by Ukraine of 1 July 2022. Para. 28
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNVPBGyKmzE
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDj723_jbtA
 DPR finalizes investigation into Mariupol Theatre explosion. Accessed at: https://dan-news.info/en/law-order/dpr-finalizes-investigation-into-mariupol-theatre-explosion/
Prosecutor General’s Office of the DPR: The true causes of the explosion in the Mariupol Drama Theater have been found out. Accessed at: https://en.topwar.ru/199225-genprokuratura-dnr-vyjasneny-istinnye-prichiny-vzryva-v-dramteatre-mariupolja.html
 Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 30 March 2018; accessed at: https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/376672.
 Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 5 December 2018; accessed at: https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/405533.
 Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 22 April 2018
Accessed at: https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/378643
 Latest from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), based on information received as of 19:30, 23 May 2018; accessed at: https://www.osce.org/special-monitoring-mission-to-ukraine/382423/
 Accessed at: https://t.me/denazi_UA/10282?single
 Meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine. Accessed at: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more,htm?id=12415114@egNews
 Statement of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine of 3 April 2022. Accessed at: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12415936@egNews
 Ukrainian nationalist forces capture some 20 OSCE vehicles, DPR reports
Accessed at: https://tass.com/politics/1413773
 Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Accessed at: https://russiaun.ru/en/news/290322u_n
 Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE at the 1363rd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 17 March 2022 on ongoing crimes by Ukraine with the support of a number of OSCE participating States. Accessed at: https://osce.mid.ru
 Accessed at: https://readovkanews/29528?single
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_I6CcaqNSk
 Ukraine: Ukrainian fighting tactics endanger civilians. Accessed at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/08/ukraine-ukrainian-fighting-tactics-endanger-civilians/
 Rhythm of War: A Thunderous Blast, and Then a Coffee Break.
Accessed at: https://www.nytimes.com/
 Briefing by Russian Defense Ministry of 21 March 2022, at 17:30. Accessed at: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12414156@egNews
 СБУ задержала тик-токера, опубликовавшего видео с расположением украинских позиций возле ТРЦ Retroville в Киеве. Accessed at: https://interfax.com.ua/news/general/816563.html
 See: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/FfRZ4ZDC6Vs
 The shopping center “Retroville” in Kiev destroyed after somebody had posted a photo of military vehicles parked there. That’s all about why one should not do so. Accessed at: https://dev.ua/ru/news/retroville-unichtozhen-raketoi-no-photo-please
 Accessed at: https://dev.ua/ru/news/retroville-unichtozhen-raketoi-no-photo-please
 Accessed at: https://t.me/boris_rozhin/36293
 Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
Mr. President, Accessed at: https://russiaun.ru/en/news/240822n
 Accessed at: https://disk.yandex.ru/d/9FFZ1LYeccI4-g
 Artillery from our Western partners started working very powerfully, so the losses of the occupiers will only increase – address by the President of Ukraine (6 July 2022), accessed at: https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/duzhe-potuzhno-zapracyuvala-artileriya-vid-nashih-zahidnih-p-76329
 Accessed at: https://disk.yandex.ru/d/9FFZ1LYeccI4-g/11.jpg
 Shelling of Donetsk city kills 13, Russian-backed separatist mayor says. Reuters, 19 September 2022. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/shelling-donetsk-city-kills-13-russian-backed-separatist-mayor-2022-09-19/
See also: Daily Report of the Donetsk Office in the JCCC. https://dnr-sckk.ru/ezhednevnaya-oficialnaya-svodka-sckk-dnr-s-06-00-19-sentyabrya-po-06-00-20-sentyabrya/
 Report of the Donetsk Office in the Joint Center for Coordination and Control, 22 September 2022. Available at: https://dnr-sckk.ru/25934-2/
 Guerra Ucraina, ecco il missile che ha colpito la stazione di Kramatosrk; accessed at: https://tg.la7.it/esteri/guerra-ucraina-ecco-il-missile-che-ha-colpito-la-stazione-di-kramatosrk-08-04-2022-17058
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnJQW0IatYc
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1COYV2zPkOI
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR68MnANH14
 The DPR reported that 46 cases of civilians blown up by “Lepestok” landmines were recorded in Donetsk. Accessed at: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15520761?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com
 Accessed at: https://t.me/readovkanews/40100
 The strike on the penitentiary in Yelenivka. Reuters journalists visited the site, their footage without comment. Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqtm8cH2log
 Удар по колонии в Еленовке. Журналисты Reuters побывали на месте, их кадры без комментариев Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqtm8cH2log
 Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing regarding the attacks of Ukrainian armed forces on the Zaporozhye NPP. Accessed at: https://russiaun.ru/en/news/230822n.
 Russia-appointed head of occupied Ukraine town wounded in blast. Accessed at: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-backed-mayor-ukraine-nuclear-plant-town-wounded-by-explosion-reports-2022-05-22/
 In the Kherson region, an attempt was made on the head of the CAA of Chernobaevka Turulev Accessed at: https://earlybulletins.news/world/43539.html
 Accessed at: https://tass.com/politics/1478317
 Official in Kharkov region killed in car explosion — authorities. Accessed at: https://tass.com/politics/1478349
 Accessed at: https://tass.com/world/1493371
 A Russian official was fatally shot in the Kherson region. Accessed at: https://www.world-today-news.com/a-russian-official-was-fatally-shot-in-the-kherson-region/
 In the Kherson region reported an attempt on the deputy head of the department Telegin. Accessed at: https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2022-08-23-in-the-kherson-region-reported-an-attempt-on-the-deputy-head-of-the-department-telegin.rJWdS3Xzkj.html
 Accessed at: https://t.me/MariaVladimirovnaZakharova/3514
 Accessed at: https://t.me/denazi_UA/18891
 In Kyiv, weapons are handed out to those who want them without checking their documents (25 February 2022). Accessed at: https://korrespondent.net/amp/4451410-v-kyeve-zhelauischym-razdauit-oruzhye-bez-proverky-dokumentov
 Territorial defense kills Ukrainian military, mistaking them for Russian sabotage-reconnaissance groups – Bondar. Accessed at: https://focus.ua/ukraine/510316-territorialnaya-oborona-ubivaet-ukrainskih-voennyh-prinimaya-ih-za-drg-rf-bondar
 Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfrt-tWQhlU
 Accessed at: https://youtu.be/ubiZ5OUz2ao
 Video appears to show Ukrainian troops killing captured Russian soldiers. Accessed at: www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/06/world/ukraine-russia-war-news#russia-pows-ukraine-executed
See also: https://t.me/uniannet/42715