There is “mounting evidence” of “systemic war crimes” being committed in “every region where Russia’s forces have been deployed” in Ukraine, including attacks against the civilian population, a top US State Department official has said.
And more than 6,500 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the start of the war in February, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Here are the latest developments:
- Proof of “systemic war crimes”: US ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice Beth Van Schaack told reporters such crimes include, “deliberate, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attacks against the civilian population and elements of the civilian infrastructure,” abuses of civilians and prisoners of war and “efforts to cover up these crimes,” reports of executions, torture, and sexual violence.
- Civilian death toll surpasses 6,500: At least 6,595 Ukrainian civilians have been killed including at least 415 children since Russia launched its invasion in February, according to recent data from the OHCHR. Actual figures, which can be difficult to calculate in some areas, are believed to be “considerably higher.”
- Fighting intensifies in the east: Fighting raged on in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on Tuesday, as Russia launched “massive shelling” in towns and villages on the eastern front line, according to a local official. The town of Avdiivka “suffered the most” as it was hit by a wave of artillery fire. Avdiivka has been within a few miles of the front lines of the war for several months, but remains in Ukrainian hands.
- Russia strikes the south: Shelling from Moscow killed a social worker at an aid distribution point in the town of Orikhiv in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region on Tuesday, according to local authorities. Further west in Nikopol, Russia fired almost 60 shells overnight into Tuesday in a dayslong onslaught of the southern Ukrainian district.
- Kherson residents urged to evacuate: Civilians in the southern Ukrainian city will be evacuated to other regions of the country with working electricity and more intact infrastructure for the winter. It comes after Ukrainian energy suppliers had to impose additional blackouts after a barrage of Russian strikes hit power facilities nationwide.