Russian assaults on Ukrainian hospitals ‘could be war crimes,’ human legal rights law firm says

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Russian assaults on Ukrainian hospitals and health care employees may possibly total to war crimes, a human rights law firm instructed WHD News. 

Hundreds of civilians have been killed given that Russian forces started off bombing populated parts across Ukraine, in accordance to numerous studies. At minimum a single cluster munition strike strike a clinic, killing four and injuring 10. 

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“There ended up two children, I believe that, who have been killed and two other people and 6 wounded mainly because of the explosive power of the bomb,” reported Leonard Rubenstein, the director of Johns Hopkins University’s Software on Human Legal rights, Health and fitness and Conflict. 

“The law is pretty uncomplicated and obvious and goes back again 150 years that it really is unlawful to assault a healthcare facility, a individual, professional medical workers,” he told WHD News. “In truth, they’re war crimes.”


The initial Geneva Conference in 1864 outlawed assaults on health-related personnel on the battlefield. Considering the fact that then, Russia has averted punishment regardless of frequently violating these phrases, according to Rubenstein. 

A view of damaged building after the shelling is said by Russian forces in Ukraine's second-biggest city of Kharkiv on March 3, 2022.

A see of damaged setting up soon after the shelling is claimed by Russian forces in Ukraine’s next-biggest town of Kharkiv on March 3, 2022.
(Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP through Getty Images)

“Russia has a extensive record of attacking hospitals,” the human rights attorney explained to WHD News. “They did it in Chechnya, attacked several hospitals in the capital during the war in there 20 a long time back.”

“A lot more not long ago, in Syria, they specific hospitals in Idlib, in the northwest, in Aleppo and ruined many hospitals,” Rubenstein additional.

The United Nations uncovered that “pro-govt” forces in Syria carried out aerial and ground attacks in 2020 on civilian marketplaces, refugee camps, and most notably hospitals. The attacks on civilian populations included the use of cluster munitions, very similar to the Russian use of cluster munitions on Ukrainian civilian locations, according to the report.

Cluster munitions are explosives that comprise scaled-down bombs. They can strike large spots and raze overall civilian neighborhoods.

This image released by the Syrian Presidency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. 

This picture unveiled by the Syrian Presidency reveals Russian President Vladimir Putin, heart, conference with Syrian President Bashar Assad, suitable, in Damascus, Syria on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. 
(Syrian Presidency by means of WHD)

“The pattern of indiscriminate assaults amounts to a war criminal offense just as a deliberate assault is,” Rubenstein explained. “So if these are verified following investigation – and of training course, we you should not have individuals investigations but – they could be war crimes.”


When hospitals are attacked, the individuals who undergo most are the sufferers, Rubenstein instructed WHD News. 

“As prolonged as the preventing goes on in the cities, they will not be in a position to get team to come to function, patients is not going to be in a position to get there, supplies is not going to be equipped to get there,” he said.

Some of the most typically forgotten war casualties are individuals with serious ailments who can’t acquire procedure, he explained. 

Children patients whose treatments are underway hold papers with the words

Children clients whose remedies are underway hold papers with the phrases “no war” prepared in them, at the hallways of the basement floor of Okhmadet Kid’s Healthcare facility, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine carries on, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

“Individuals in require of treatment really don’t occur,” Rubenstein explained. “Their problem receives worse, and they may possibly even die just for fear of coming to a medical center that can be attacked.”

However, Rubenstein pointed to a silver lining. 

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“In Ukraine, you will find essentially an opportunity, for the reason that contrary to in other situations, this situation could go to the Worldwide Prison Courtroom with no going via the Security Council, in which Russia has a veto,” he instructed WHD News. 

Russia has vetoed a lot more votes on the U.N. Security Council than any other member, in accordance to a watchdog report. A short while ago, Russia has blocked investigations into war crimes fully commited in the Syrian civil war. 

“In this article, the prison court docket has by now started off an investigation because it has the electricity to do so and these assaults on hospitals have to be integrated in that investigation,” Rubenstein mentioned. 

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