UN REPORT LINKS RUSSIA TO DEADLY ATTACK ON UKRAINIAN VILLAGE
31 October 2023
The United Nations Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) today said it has reasonable grounds to believe that Russia carried out the deadly missile strike that claimed the lives of 59 civilians in the village of Hroza in Eastern Ukraine on 5 October.
A new report released today by HRRMU concludes that Russia either failed to undertake all feasible measures to verify that the intended target was a military objective rather than civilians or civilian objects, or deliberately targeted civilians or a civilian object, in either event in violation of international humanitarian law.
“This attack on the Hroza café, which claimed the lives of 36 women, 22 men and an eight-year-old boy, stands as one of the deadliest incidents since the start of the Russian full-scale armed attack in February 2022,” said Danielle Bell, who heads the UN’s Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. “It serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of the war in Ukraine and underscores the necessity of holding perpetrators accountable,” she added.
The report says that the extensive damage and the remnants of the weapon found at the site of the incident point to a Russian Iskander missile as the likely cause of the explosion. This short-range precision-guided ballistic missile struck Hroza's sole café approximately 20 to 25 minutes after 63 local residents had gathered there to commemorate the reburial of a Ukrainian soldier who had fallen earlier in the war.
UN human rights monitors documented that all the victims were civilians and that there were no military personnel or any other legitimate military target present at or in proximity to the reception at the café.
The report also details the utterly devastating impact of the strike, with 15 families of the village losing more than one family member in the attack. A local resident recounted that her daughter's friend could only be identified by her manicure when rescue workers discovered her hand. For many others, identification relied solely on DNA tests.
Although Russia did not explicitly acknowledge responsibility for the attack, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council depicted the Hroza funeral gathering as a legitimate military target, an assertion contradicted by the information collected and verified by HRMMU.
The Russian Federation is urged to acknowledge responsibility for the civilian casualties resulting from the attack, to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the attack to hold those responsible to account and prevent similar attacks from happening in the future, and to provide access to remedy, including reparations, for direct and indirect victims.
For more information and media requests, please contact:
Kris Janowski +380952300437 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kateryna Girniak +380504868364 email@example.com