Press Release

Briefing note of Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani on Ukraine

11 October 2022

The missile attacks by Russian armed forces yesterday which struck cities across Ukraine left at least 12 civilians dead and more than 100 injured in Kyiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, and in Kyiv and Sumy regions. The location and timing of the strikes – when people were commuting to work and taking children to school – is particularly shocking.

We are gravely concerned that some of the attacks appear to have targeted critical civilian infrastructure. Many civilian objects, including dozens of residential buildings and vital civilian infrastructure – including at least 12 energy facilities – were damaged or destroyed in eight regions, indicating that these strikes may have violated the principles on the conduct of hostilities under international humanitarian law. Damage to key power stations and lines ahead of the upcoming winter raises further concerns for the protection of civilians and in particular the impact on vulnerable populations.

Attacks targeting civilians and objects indispensable to the survival of civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law.

We urge the Russian Federation to refrain from further escalation, and to take all feasible measures to prevent civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.

Our Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine will continue corroborating information on civilian casualties resulting from these attacks, as well as documenting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law throughout the country.

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