Human Rights Watch has called on Ukrainian authorities to immediately investigate the allegations.
“[There was] When you look at it holistically, the body of evidence strongly suggests that we believe Ukraine is responsible,” Mary Wareham, director of advocacy for the weapons division, told the Washington Post.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted the report on Tuesday. Competent authorities of Ukraine said they will study it thoroughly.
“Ukraine exercises its right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter and fully complies with its international obligations while the Russian occupiers are committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of the Ukrainian people,” the foreign ministry said.
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Investigators from Human Rights Watch visited the Izyum area shortly after Russia’s withdrawal, and the victims; witnesses first responders; More than 100 people were interviewed, including doctors and Ukrainian miners. According to the findings, Ukrainian forces fired Uragan rockets carrying PFM landmines at nine locations.
fist-sized, known as butterfly or petal mine; The mountain-shaped plastic weapons are often green or brown, so they blend in with the ground. They can be triggered by pressure, such as stepping on or near the unit.
They appeared to be aimed at Russian occupation forces, but Human Rights Watch said the mines were also found in civilian areas, and in some cases landed near private homes or in yards. Local health workers told investigators they treated about 50 residents for injuries similar to landmines.
About half of the injured had their legs or feet amputated; The organization said the injuries were consistent with PFM blast mines.
A miner says weapons are everywhere. unexploded mines; mine residues; Metal cassettes carrying mines in the rockets and blast certificates consistent with the explosives contained in the weapons were found, Human Rights Watch said.
Diggers say it could take decades to clear landmines and other unexploded ordnance.
Wareham said Russian forces have used more landmines in several locations across Ukraine. Human Rights Watch has published three reports on Moscow’s use of landmines during the conflict. These include “victim-activated lap traps” in which an explosive device is attached to a corpse and detonates when the body is moved.
But the organization said Russia’s use of mines does not make its role in Ukraine clear.
“While Russian forces have repeatedly used anti-personnel mines and committed atrocities across the country, this is inconsistent with Ukraine’s use of banned weapons,” said Steve Goose, director of the rights group’s arms division.
Unlike Ukraine, Russia is not a signatory to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which bans anti-personnel mines and requires countries to destroy their stockpiles. However, Human Rights Watch says Moscow is still in violation of international law, which bans anti-personnel mines because they do not discriminate between civilians and combatants.
Ukraine signed the treaty in 1999 and ratified the treaty six years later. Officials in Kiev say more than 3 million mines inherited from the Soviet Union have been destroyed, but more than 3 million PFM mines remain. Russia also has a stockpile of PFM mines.
along the river front This road of death shows Russia’s war dead.
The Ministry of Defense told Human Rights Watch in November that it was complying with international obligations, including banning the use of anti-personnel mines. But he did not address questions about the use of PFM mines in the vicinity of Izyum, adding that “information about the types of weapons used by Ukraine will not be commented on until the end of the war.”
Tuesday’s report reversed the organization’s earlier findings that anti-personnel landmines were not used in Ukraine.
Landmine Monitor, a publication co-edited by Human Rights Watch that follows landmine elimination efforts, wrote in November that there is no independent confirmation that landmines have been used in Ukraine. The use of PFM-type mines in Ukraine is not possible at this time.”
Wareham said the new findings were possible because Human Rights Watch representatives were able to visit the site in person for the first time.
Wareham said the organization was “pleased to see Ukraine’s statement today that it will take the findings seriously” and expects Kyiv to “thoroughly investigate what happened.”