The human rights watchdog has reported three incidents that killed at least six civilians and injured 12, warning that “some of these attacks may be war crimes."

The group said Russia carried out “indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on protected objects such as hospitals.”
The group said Russia carried out “indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on protected objects such as hospitals.” (AFP)

Russian attacks in Ukraine “could constitute war crimes,” Amnesty International has said.

The London-based right watchdog said on Friday in a statement that it documented “three incidents that it believes to have killed at least six civilians and injured at least 12 more.”

Citing Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard, the statement said: “The Russian military has shown a blatant disregard for civilian lives by using ballistic missiles and other explosive weapons with wide-area effects in densely populated areas.”

“Some of these attacks may be war crimes. The Russian government, which falsely claims to use only precision-guided weapons, should take responsibility for these acts,” she said.

Calling on Russia to immediately end “indiscriminate attacks in violation of the laws of war,” she said: 

“The continuation of the use of ballistic missiles and other inaccurate explosive weapons causing civilian deaths and injuries is inexcusable.”

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Three deadly attacks

The group’s Crisis Evidence Lab analysed digital evidence, including photos, videos and satellite imagery of three attacks early in the Russian operation in Ukraine on February 24.

“The attacks occurred in Vuhledar, Kharkiv, and Uman,” the statement said.

The rights group said the “deadliest strike” documented was “a ballistic missile struck near a hospital building in Vuhledar, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, killing four civilians and wounding ten more.”

Citing a local source who spoke to Amnesty International researchers, the group said two women and two men were killed, and six health care workers were among the injured.

“Analysing photos of the weapon scrap linked to the incident, Amnesty International’s weapons investigator determined that a 9M79 Tochka ballistic missile was used in the attack,” said the statement.

The rights watchdog also detailed another attack in the Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine. 

“The likely target was the nearby Chuhuiv Air Base, but instead Russian weapon struck a residential block, causing extensive fire damage and apparently killing at least one male civilian and injuring at least two civilian women.”

In another attack on February 24 in Uman in the Cherkasy region, “a civilian man appears to have been killed by a strike that also damaged a nearby restaurant,” it added.

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine entered its third day on Saturday with the latest reports indicating that Russian troops were heading toward the capital, Kiev, from several directions.

READ MORE: Assault on Ukraine: Is the Kremlin inspired by its war in Syria?

Source: AA