A Russian airstrike on civilians in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, about 120 km north of Kyiv, killed 47 civilians last Thursday. According to human rights organization Amnesty International, Russians used at least eight unguided bombs, also known as ‘dumb bombs’, in the attack.
In the afternoon, a small square in the city’s centre was hit by the Russian bombs. “This was a relentless, indiscriminate attack on people going about their daily business in their homes, streets and shops,” said Joanne Mariner of Amnesty International. “This attack is one of the deadliest the people of Ukraine have endured to date.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court should investigate this airstrike as a war crime. Those responsible for such crimes should be brought to justice, and victims and their families should receive full compensation.”
According to the regional administration, 38 men and nine women were killed.
Amnesty’s analysts were unable to “identify a legitimate military target” at or near the site of the attack. Because satellite images from February 28 show people queuing outside the hit building, Amnesty believes most of the victims were queuing for food on the day of the attack. An eyewitness confirmed to Amnesty that there was indeed a line that day where people were queuing for food because of the explosions.
Footage from dash cams shows falling ammunition and the sound of a likely low-speed passing plane, consistent with how such an attack is carried out. Amnesty points out that dropping unguided bombs in populated areas violates the ban on arbitrary attacks on civilians. “These types of bombs have a long-range and are much less accurate than precision-guided munitions,” it sounds.
Other verified videos show widespread destruction and at least one notable bomb crater of a size indicating the use of a bomb of about 500 kg. Russia was also previously charged with using cluster and vacuum bombs against Ukrainian targets.