Russia is carrying out targeted attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, MSF said in a new report. The organization relies on testimonials from 653 patients evacuated from war zones that its doctors treated in the past two months.
MSF calls the Russian attacks a “serious violation of international humanitarian law”.
The patients were evacuated by medical train from war zones in eastern Ukraine between March 31 and June 6 and taken to hospitals in safer parts of the country. During this journey of twenty to thirty hours, they often shared their traumatic experiences. This showed that they were injured by targeted attacks on civilian targets, according to MSF, which recorded the patient stories in the report No Mercy for Civilians.
More than 40 percent of the patients treated by MSF are the elderly and children who have been hit by shrapnel and gunshot wounds, in some cases leading to “traumatic amputations.” “Many people were injured in military attacks on residential areas,” said MSF emergency coordinator Christopher Stokes. “While we can’t exactly demonstrate that the intent was to target civilians, the decision to deploy heavy weapons in densely populated areas means that civilians are inevitably and therefore deliberately killed or injured.”
The patients’ testimonies show that civilians were also shot at while trying to leave the war zone, MSF said. Moscow has consistently denied targeting civilians in Ukraine.