The international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) presented this Tuesday a meticulous reconstruction work that includes testimonies, photos, videos and three-dimensional material of a Russian attack against a building in the Ukrainian city of Izium (east) that claimed lives of 44 people in March 2022.
"Several generations of families were buried in the basement in a single attack," HRW researcher Richard Weir said in a statement, adding that the organization "has found no evidence to justify treating the building as a military objective." , which would make the attack a war crime.
One of the testimonies collected is that of the electrician Mykhailo Yatsentiuk, in his 60s, who lived in the building and lost his wife and six other members of his family between the ages of 3 and 96 in the Russian attack. Yatseniuk survived because he had left the cellar where his family had taken refuge to make tea for his granddaughter.
The building in question had five floors and was located in the central district of Izium, which was under Ukrainian control at the time of the attack, which was perpetrated with munitions dropped from the air by a Russian aircraft.
"The ammunition hit the center of the building, which caused five floors of the central part to collapse on the basement," read the statement presenting the investigation. "The rubble buried many people in the basement," added the HRW text.
Using a 3D model of the building, the NGO has concluded that the attack made a hole of at least 15 meters in the location where the building was.
Although he has not been able to establish the type of ammunition used, the damage it caused suggests that it is a delayed-detonation FAB-500 bomb, which explodes after hitting the target and causes "catastrophic damage."
"It could have penetrated through several floors of the building before the detonation," explains HRW about the reason for the levels of destruction caused.
HRW demands that what happened be clarified and those responsible pay for their actions. "The survivors and the families of the victims deserve answers and justice," said Weir, the NGO's researcher. "The devastation and pain will never go away, but being held accountable for it can help make these kinds of acts less than tolerated," he added.
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