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Documenting war crimes in Ukraine.
The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

INCIDENTS IN KHARKIV AND THE KHARKIV REGION recorded by the KHPG during the first 120 days (24 February-23 June 2022) of Russia's all-out war against Ukraine

29.06.2022
Vladyslav Dolzhko

Pisochyn (Kharkiv Raion) after the shelling, June 16, photo by Vyacheslav Mavrychev

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group documents international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes) allegedly committed by the Russian occupiers in Kharkiv and Kharkiv Region.

In this article, we publish a summary of the events that took place in Kharkiv and Kharkiv Region during the first 120 days of the full-scale Russia-Ukraine war (February 24 – June 23, 2022) and were documented by our organization. The information in this publication is approximate, based on the data we have collected and needs clarification.

A detailed description of the events for the period from February 24 to June 23, 2022 and a link to the original sources of information is contained in the daily chronicles of the events for this period.

Information collection is ongoing. We ask eyewitnesses to send us information using the attached form.

1. Location of documented episodes

In total, during the study period in Kharkiv Region, our organization documented 3,146 episodes, which can be preliminarily identified as having signs of international crimes allegedly committed by the Russian occupiers.

Kharkiv Region (By RosssW - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Kharkiv Region

Location

Episodes documented

Kharkiv city

1,623

Bogodukhiv district

186

Izyum district

582

Krasnograd district

7

Kupiansk district

48

Lozova district

28

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

467

Chuguiv district

185

Location needs clarification

20

Total

3,146

2. Information on civilian casualties

During the study period in Kharkiv Region, we recorded a total of 1,148 episodes related to civilian casualties or violation of rights among the civilian population.

Type of casualties or violations

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Death of a civilian person

248

655

Injury

248

867

Rape

2

2

Violation of rights

20

185

Disappearance

630

892

Total

1,148

2,601

2.1. Information on deaths of civilians

According to the data already documented in our database, 248 episodes of civilian people deaths as a result of shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 655civilians died).

Kharkiv after the shelling, photo by Suspilne

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

93

223

Bogodukhiv district

28

35

Izyum district

44

225

Kupiansk district

2

3

Lozova district

3

3

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

52

117

Chuguiv district

24

40

Location needs clarification

2

9

Total

248

655

According to the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office, as of June 23, 2022, 45 children died in Kharkiv Region due to the war.

2.2. Information on the injured among the civilian population

According to the data already documented in our database, 248 episodes of civilian people injuries as a result of artillery shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 867 civilians were injured).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

83

434

Bogodukhiv district

27

49

Izyum district

38

127

Krasnograd district

1

4

Kupiansk district

4

5

Lozova district

10

21

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

55

155

Chuguiv district

29

71

Location needs clarification

1

1

Total

248

867

According to the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office, as of June 23, 2022, 137 children were injured in Kharkiv Region due to the war.

2.3. Information on the disappearance of civilians

According to the information already documented in our database, during the period under study, a total of 630 episodes of possible disappearances were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv), within which information on the possible disappearance of at least 892 people was recorded.

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

81

100

Bogodukhiv district

2

2

Izyum district

375

571

Krasnograd district

1

3

Kupiansk district

37

43

Lozova district

3

5

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

78

104

Chuguiv district

36

41

Location needs clarification

17

23

Total

630

892

As previously noted in the analytical publication of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, most people disappear under unknown circumstances. There is also a pattern: the more active hostilities in the area and the more temporarily occupied territories, the greater the number of reports of disappearances. A more detailed analysis and conclusions are contained in a special publication.

2.4. Information on rape and other human rights violations

According to the information already documented in our database, during the period under study in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) the alleged facts of rape of at least two civilians were recorded.

We also managed to document in our database information on the facts of alleged violations of the rights of at least 185 civilians that took place during the study period in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv). We have also documented the alleged facts of forced mobilization of the population by the Russian military, mass deportation of civilians to Russia, torture and others.

3. Information on residential buildings and civilian infrastructure facilities that have been damaged as a result of hostilities

According to the data already documented in our database, during the study period at least 3,186 objects of civil infrastructure were damaged as a result of artillery shelling and hostilities in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv), including:

Type of objects

Quantity

Residential and Household buildings

1,774

Buildings dedicated to education

175

Hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected

44

Governmental buildings

30

Buildings dedicated to art and entertainment establishments

40

Buildings dedicated to religion

30

Business and commercial facilities

359

Transport infrastructure facilities

157

Life support infrastructure facilities

62

Historic monuments

24

Farmland, forests

19

Bridges

5

Cars, vehicles

455

Not specified

12

Total

3,186

3.1. Information on residential and household buildings that have been damaged as a result of hostilities

According to the data already documented in our database, 1013 episodes of destruction of residential and household buildings as a result of shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 1,774 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

722

923

Bogodukhiv district

66

311

Izyum district

45

81

Krasnograd district

2

11

Lozova district

5

18

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

121

345

Chuguiv district

52

85

Total

1,013

1,774

3.2. Information on buildings dedicated to education that have been damaged as a result of hostilities

According to the data already documented in our database, 171 episodes of destruction of buildings dedicated to education as a result of shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 175 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

121

122

Bogodukhiv district

8

11

Izyum district

11

11

Lozova district

1

1

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

24

24

Chuguiv district

6

6

Total

171

175

3.3. Information on hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected that have been damaged as a result of hostilities

According to the data already documented in our database, 41 episodes of destruction of hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected as a result of shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 44 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

21

21

Bogodukhiv district

5

5

Izyum district

7

7

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

8

11

Total

41

44

3.4. Information on business and commercial facilities that have been damaged as a result of hostilities

According to the data already documented in our database, 295 episodes of destruction of business and commercial facilities as a result of shelling and hostilities were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv) during the study period (at least 359 facilities damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

218

266

Bogodukhiv district

11

14

Izyum district

11

11

Lozova district

4

7

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

38

44

Chuguiv district

13

17

Total

295

359

4. Information on the types of events that were documented during the study period

According to the data already documented in our database, during the study period there were at least the following events, which took place in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv):

Type of event

Episodes documented

Artillery shelling (bombardment)

2208

Small arms fire

25

Explosive device

20

Vehicle damage

1

Torture, inhuman treatment

6

Disappearance

624

Illegal imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty

11

Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations

4

Appropriation of property of civilians

9

Wilful killing of a civilian (murder)

6

Wilful causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health

2

Deportation or forcible transfer of population to Russia

3

An attack against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance

4

Rape

2

Taking of hostages

1

Forced conscription

2

Capture of a civilian building

2

Not specified

15

5. Information on documented episodes related to the work of humanitarian corridors, convoys and humanitarian aid points

According to the data documented by our organization, during the study period we managed to record at least four episodes related to the capture or attack on a humanitarian convoy, mission or corridor, as well as shelling of humanitarian aid points, which took place in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv).

Borova (Izium Raion)

In particular, there were reports of shelling of humanitarian aid points. On March 24, 2022, the shell hit people waiting in line for humanitarian aid at the post office (6 people were killed and 15 were injured). On March 25, 2022, the occupiers fired on the city polyclinic, where the humanitarian aid point was located (4 people were killed and 3 were injured).

It was also reported that on April 14, 2022, Russian armed forces fired on evacuation buses with civilians in the urban-type settlement of Borova, Izyum district. According to preliminary data, 7 people died and 27 were injured.

It was reported that on June 19, 2022, at about 11:30 p.m., Russian armed forces fired rockets at the town of Lyubotyn in Kharkiv district. As a result of two explosions, the school where the humanitarian aid center was located was damaged.

6. Information on documented facts that can be preliminarily qualified as international crimes allegedly committed by the Russian occupiers

During the study period we documented the following facts, which can be preliminarily qualified as international crimes, probably committed by the Russian occupiers in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv):

Preliminary qualification of an event

Episodes documented

RS 8 (2) (b) (ix)Damage or destruction of historical monuments, hospitals, religious buildings, education, science and art institutions

291

RS 8 (2) (b) (v) Shelling of a settlement without consequences

19

RS 8 (2) (b) (ii)Attack on a civilian object

1409

RS 8 (2) (b) (iv) Destruction or damage to property

552

RS 8 (2) (a) (iv) Extensive destruction or appropriation of property

27

RS 7 (1) (а) or 8 (2) (а) (i) Wilful killing of a civilian by a firearm or another weapon

21

RS 8 (2) (а) (ііі) Wilful causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health

7

RS 7 (1) (d) or 8 (2) (а) (vii) or 8 (2) (b) (viii) Deportation or forcible transfer of population to Russia

3

RS 7 (1) (i) Enforced disappearance of a person

77

RS 7 (1) (f) or 8 (2) (а) (іі)Torture or inhuman treatment of civilians or military

7

RS 8 (2) (a) (viii) Taking of hostages

1

RS 8 (2) (b) (iii) An attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance

13

RS 8 (2) (b) (iv) Death of a civilian person due to shelling

213

RS 8 (2) (b) (iv) Injury of a civilian person due to shelling

221

RS 8 (2) (b) (iv) Damage to the natural environment due to shelling

2

RS 8 (2) (b) (xvi) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault

4

RS 8 (2) (b) (xx) Employing weapons or methods of warfare that cause superfluous damage or indiscriminate suffering of people, or causes indiscriminate destruction, or is prohibited by international agreements

131

RS 8 (2) (b) (xxii) Rape

2

RS 8 (2) (b) (xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations

3

RS 8 (2) (b) (xxv) Obstructing humanitarian missions in providing food or water, destruction of supplies of food or drinking water

4

RS 8 (2) (b) (xvii) or 8 (2) (b) (xviii) Use of chemical or other poisonous weapons, including phosphorus bombs

1

RS 7 (1) (е)Illegal imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty

9

RS 8 (2) (a) (v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power

2

RS 8 (2) (b) (xx)Mining of territories, settlements or civilian objects with anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines, trap mines, as well as the use of remote mining systems

13

RS 8 (2) (b) (vii) Making improper use of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy

2

These data require clarification. The category names in the “Preliminary qualification of an event” column is in no case an accurate description of an international crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and is provided for information purposes only. Only the court is authorized to provide the final qualification of the event.

Conclusions

The analysis of the collected information provides grounds to claim that there were deaths and injuries of civilian people, destruction and damage of civilian objects – residential buildings and civilian infrastructure facilities – due to wilful and indiscriminate shelling.

The studied data also provides reasons to claim alleged incidents of enforced disappearances, captures of civilians, violations of humanitarian corridors and attacks on humanitarian aid supplies, convoys and volunteers, looting, killings and others.

In our opinion,such acts can be pre-qualified as crimes against humanity under Article 7 para. (1) (а), (d), (е), (f), (i) and as war crimes under Article 8 para. (2) (a) (i), (іі), (ііі), (iv), (v), (vii), (viii), (b) (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vii), (viii), (ix), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xx), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxv).

Information collection is ongoing. If you can provide additional information, please use the form.

The author is grateful to the whole KHPG team, without the joint coordinated and dedicated work of which this summary would be impossible.

The article was prepared by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group under T4P (Tribunal for Putin) global initiative.
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