Ukraine war: Putin accused of using ‘cluster bombs’ that killed child and two adults hiding in pre-school

Laurie Churchman
Monday 28 February 2022 19:30
Comments

In a separate attack, suspected cluster munitions struck civilian buildings in Kharkiv

The Russian military has been accused of using cluster bombs in an attack that killed a child and two adults hiding in a pre-school in northeastern Ukraine.

A second child was wounded in the shelling on the Sonechko nursery and kindergarten in the city of Okhtyrka.

Amnesty International said the strike may constitute a war crime.

“There is no possible justification for dropping cluster munitions in populated areas, let alone near a school,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s Secretary-General.

“It is stomach-turning to see an indiscriminate attack on a nursery and kindergarten where civilians are seeking safe haven.”

“This attack bears all the hallmarks of Russia’s use of this inherently indiscriminate and internationally-banned weapon, and shows flagrant disregard for civilian life.”

Drone footage from the scene shows cluster munitions struck at least seven locations on or near the building, Amnesty said.

Two bodies are seen on the ground.

“While I was walking down [with] my wife, there were immediate explosions,” one witness told Amnesty.

“You see, everyone is covered with blood, everything.”

“It kills me the fact it’s a kindergarten,” he said. “What’s this they shoot at? At military objects? Where are those?”

A school destroyed in a separate attack in Kharkiv

Cluster bombs scatter or release smaller munitions over a wide area.

Amnesty said an “unguided and notoriously inaccurate” 220mm Uragan rocket was used in the attack.

More than 100 countries have committed never to use the indiscriminate weapons under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but neither Russia nor Ukraine has signed the agreement.

The shelling in Okhtyrka on Friday is the fourth attack to have struck a school that has been verified by Amnesty.

This morning, dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds more injured in Russian rocket strikes on the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials said.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion on Thursday, at least 352 civilians have been killed, according to Ukraine’s health ministry. Exact death tolls are unclear and it is believed many more are dead or injured.

At least 16 children have been killed and another 45 wounded, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Ukraine and its allies have called for a United Nations inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Russia.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in