Jul 9, 2022 - World

UN finds Ukrainian forces put civilians at risk in nursing home attack

Picture of the United Nations logo

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations released a report that found that Ukraine's armed forces helped in the assault of a nursing home in the southeast of Kyiv.

Why it matters: Ukrainian forces blamed Russian forces for destroying the nursing home when the unprovoked attack occurred on March 11, per AP. But the report shows that Ukrainians share perhaps an equal part of the blame.

Details: Days before the attack, the nursing home's management requested local authorities to evacuate the residents. However, "[t]his was reportedly impossible as Ukrainian armed forces had allegedly mined the surrounding area and blocked roads."

  • There were 71 patients and 15 staff, along with Ukrainian armed forces in the home when the Russians attacked. The U.N. said that at least 22 patients survived the attack, but the number of people killed remains unknown.
  • In the report, the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights does not conclude that the Russians committed a war crime, but it said that during the attack they used "human shields," which are prohibited under the Geneva Convention.

What they're saying: "The bottom-line rule is that civilians cannot intentionally be targeted. Period. For whatever reason,” David Crane, a former U.S. Defense Department official, told AP.

  • “The Ukrainians placed those people in a situation which was a killing zone. And you can’t do that.”
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