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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.

The First 150 Days of the Full-Scale War in Kharkiv and the Kharkiv Region

30.07.2022
Vladyslav Dolzhko

After the shelling of Chuguyev, July 16, photo by Nakypilo

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 150 days of the full-scale Russia-Ukraine war (February 24 – July 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 July 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

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

In total, during the study period in Kharkiv Region, our organization documented 3,801 episodes, which can be preliminarily identified as having signs of international crimes allegedly committed by the Russian occupiers.

Kharkiv Region

Location

Episodes documented

Kharkiv city

1,836

Bogodukhiv district

239

Izyum district

798

Krasnograd district

7

Kupiansk district

62

Lozova district

30

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

552

Chuguiv district

250

Location needs clarification

27

Total

3,801

2. Information on civilian casualties

During the study period in Kharkiv Region, we recorded a total of 1,516 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

403

930

Injury

328

1,016

Rape

2

2

Violation of rights

33

404

Disappearance

750

1,072

Total

1,516

3,424

2.1. Information on deaths of civilians

According to the data already documented in our database, 403 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 930civilians died).

A father by the body of his dead son after the shelling of Saltivka, July 20, photo by Vyacheslav Mavrychev, Suspilne Kharkiv

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

112

251

Bogodukhiv district

31

41

Izyum district

158

435

Kupiansk district

4

7

Lozova district

3

3

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

60

126

Chuguiv district

33

58

Location needs clarification

2

9

Total

403

930

2.2. Information on the injured among the civilian population

According to the data already documented in our database, 328 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 1,016 civilians were injured).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

111

498

Bogodukhiv district

32

54

Izyum district

50

149

Krasnograd district

1

4

Kupiansk district

4

5

Lozova district

10

21

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

69

179

Chuguiv district

50

105

Location needs clarification

1

1

Total

328

1,016

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 750 episodes of possible disappearances were recorded in Kharkiv Region (including Kharkiv), within which information on the possible disappearance of at least 1,072 people was recorded.

Location

Episodes documented

Number of victims

Kharkiv city

103

129

Bogodukhiv district

2

2

Izyum district

444

686

Krasnograd district

1

3

Kupiansk district

45

50

Lozova district

3

5

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

93

122

Chuguiv district

41

51

Location needs clarification

18

24

Total

750

1,072

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 404 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 3,655 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

2,054

Buildings dedicated to education

199

Hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected

48

Governmental buildings

34

Buildings dedicated to art and entertainment establishments

44

Buildings dedicated to religion

35

Business and commercial facilities

391

Non-governmental organization

1

Transport infrastructure facilities

169

Life support infrastructure facilities

75

Historic monuments

30

Farmland, forests

35

Bridges

6

Cars, vehicles

513

Not specified

21

Total

3,655

Destroyed six-story building in Slobidskiy district, July 11, photo by Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office

According to Oleg Synegubov, the Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, as of July 14, 2022, the occupiers destroyed and damaged more than 4,800 infrastructure facilities in the Kharkiv Region.

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, 1,142 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 2,054 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

792

998

Bogodukhiv district

84

392

Izyum district

50

86

Krasnograd district

2

11

Lozova district

7

89

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

141

371

Chuguiv district

65

106

Location needs clarification

1

1

Total

1,142

2,054

According to Oleg Synegubov, the Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, as of July 14, 2022, 4,232 residential buildings were destroyed or damaged throughout the Kharkiv Region. This number includesmore than 2,700high-rise, multi-entryway, multi-apartment buildings.

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, 195 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 199 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

139

140

Bogodukhiv district

9

12

Izyum district

12

12

Lozova district

1

1

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

26

26

Chuguiv district

8

8

Total

195

199

The building of the Kharkiv Pedagogical University destroyed by a Russian missile strike, photo by Suspilne

According to Oleg Synegubov, the Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, as of July 14, 2022, more than 500buildings dedicated to educationwere destroyed or damaged in the Kharkiv Region.

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, 45 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 48 objects damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

23

23

Bogodukhiv district

5

5

Izyum district

7

7

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

9

12

Chuguiv district

1

1

Total

45

48

According to Oleg Synegubov, the Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, as of July 14, 2022, more than 100hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collectedwere destroyed or damaged in the Kharkiv Region.

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, 326 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 391 facilities damaged).

These data can be organized as follows:

Location

Episodes documented

Objects damaged

Kharkiv city

239

288

Bogodukhiv district

18

21

Izyum district

12

12

Lozova district

4

7

Kharkiv district (data excluding Kharkiv city)

40

46

Chuguiv district

13

17

Total

326

391

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)

2,614

Small arms fire

35

Explosive device

30

Vehicle damage

1

Torture, inhuman treatment

11

Disappearance

748

Illegal imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty

15

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

18

Wilful killing of a civilian (murder)

12

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

3

Deportation or forcible transfer of population to Russia

5

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

18

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).

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 episodes related to damage caused to fields with agricultural crops and objects of agricultural purpose

During the studied period, 27 episodes of damage to forests, fields or farmlands in the Kharkiv Region were documented in our database. Within these episodes, a total of 35 objects were recorded as damaged.

Since July 1, 2022, we have managed to record 9 episodes of damage to fields with agricultural crops. Within these episodes, damage was caused to at least 10 separate areas of cultivated fields. In most episodes, the field with agricultural crops caught fire due to shelling and burned down in a certain area.

According to the data of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration with reference to the information of the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv Region, since July 3, there have been 7 cases of field fires in the Kharkiv Region as a result of enemy shelling. More than 46.6 hectares of wheat and 2 hectares of barley burned in the Izyumand Chuguivdistricts.

Suspilne also reported that on July 19, the Russian occupation army fired at a harvester working in the field of the Zolochiv community. The head of the community, Viktor Kovalenko, told Suspilneabout this. “A combine harvester left near the village of Ivashki to mow bread, it was hit by a helicopter. The harvester boys ran away from there, the harvester did not sustain significant damage, but the field burned down. There was somewhere around 150 hectares,”Kovalenko told Suspilne.

7. 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

329

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

21

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

1,575

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

644

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

36

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

33

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

10

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

4

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

86

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

12

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

357

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

302

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

6

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

150

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

2

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

10

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

22

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