Zaporizhzhia, October 9, 2022

Russia-Ukraine: Civilian lives and infrastructure must be protected

Geneva (ICRC) – As the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is putting the lives of civilians in peril. The impact of the recent attacks across Ukraine, and the armed conflict overall, continue to have the largest effect on the most vulnerable — children, the elderly, and those who are sick, wounded, or disabled. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned that the number of civilians killed and injured could increase.
News release 10 October 2022 Ukraine Russia

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas causes life-threatening injuries, mental and psychological harm, as well as severe damage to civilian property and infrastructure, and disruption of services essential for the civilian population, including water, electricity, sanitation, and health care. The disruption of these services ahead of/during the winter season can significantly increase humanitarian needs.

Under international humanitarian law, the effects of hostilities on civilians and civilian infrastructure must be factored into all military operations. All possible measures must be taken to protect and spare civilian life and essential infrastructure like health facilities, housing, schools, power plants, and water supplies.

Explosive weapons with a wide impact area should be avoided in populated areas unless sufficient mitigation measures are taken to limit their wide-area effects and the consequent risk of civilian harm.

For more information, please contact:

Fatima Sator, +41 79 848 4908
Crystal Wells, +41 79 642 8056
Achille Després, +380 50 324 3180