Human Rights Watch accused Russia of the attack on the Kramatorsk station and called it a war crime

Lidia Mariukha, 79, right, cries as her husband, Viktor, 84, is helped out of bed by members of the aid organization Refugease as they evacuate their home in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (David Goldman/)

The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) affirmed this Tuesday that the attack carried out by Russia in April 2022 against the railway station in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorskwhich resulted in dozens of civilian deaths, could amount to a war crime.

In his report ‘Death on station: Russian cluster munition attack on Kramatorsk‘, the organization highlights that hundreds of civilians were at the station when a missile carrying cluster munitions exploded there, killing 59 people and injuring more than 100.

Thus, it has indicated that the Russian commanders responsible for giving the attack order should be investigated, in which an indiscriminate weapon was used against what was also an evacuation point for civilians in the framework of the country’s invasion.

“Russia’s terrible and illegal attack on the Kramatorsk train station killed and injured civilians who were desperately trying to flee the fighting,” the investigator denounced for HRW Conflict and Crisis, Richard Weirwho has indicated that “the brutal effects of cluster munitions against groups of people should be a wake-up call for Russian forces to stop using these prohibited weapons.”

AP Photos: Unpublished Images of the War in Ukraine
A hand-drawn portrait of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin is seen among the rubble on the floor of a classroom at School Number 23, destroyed after a Russian attack in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Leo Correa) (Leo Correa/)

HRW has detailed that it interviewed nearly 70 people in Kramatorsk between May 14 and 24, 2022, after which the NGO and SITU Research They analyzed more than 200 videos and photographs, as well as satellite images to try to clarify the event.

The ballistic missile exploded over the station at 10:28 a.m. (local time), releasing dozens of submunitions that exploded on hitting the ground. A woman who was waiting on the platform with her family has recounted that “when the first explosions took place, they did not understand what was happening.”

“When people started screaming, I understood that it was something terrible. We fell to the ground, but my mother-in-law (72 years old) didn’t react fast enough and she just sat there. One of her legs was thrown off and she suffered a fracture in the other, after which she died”, she has said.

An ambulance driver who arrived at the scene minutes after the attack has recounted that “people were crying everywhere”. “They were very, very painful cries. I heard people cry who have 20 or 40 seconds to live. I heard his last cries before death. I saw limbs on the ground, limbs of children, ”he added.

AP Photos: Unpublished Images of the War in Ukraine
A woman is carried downstairs from her home during an evacuation by volunteers from the Vostok SOS charity group in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) (Francisco Seco/)

HRW has specified that the weapon used was a Tochka-U type 9M79K-1 ballistic missile and has detailed that the submunition used was the 9N24, containing 1.45 kilograms of explosives and divided into more than 315 fragments, according to the manufacturer.

The organization has indicated that both Russia and Ukraine have this type of missile in their arsenals and has pointed out that, although Moscow has always defended that it no longer uses them, it has found evidence that the Russian forces had launch vehicles, equipment transport and Tochka missiles in the village of Kunie, northwest of Kramatorsk and within firing range, at the time of the attack.

Journey to the East - Kharkiv to Kramatorsk - Ukraine Russia War - Infoabe in Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine is in ruins due to constant Russian attacks (Franco Fafasuli / Infobae) (FRANCO FAFASULI /)

Director of SITU Research, Brad Samuelshas emphasized that “cluster munitions are, by definition, indiscriminate” and has outlined that “Russia’s use of this weapon against the Kramatorsk train station, a known point for civilian evacuations, is horrible” .

“All countries must unequivocally condemn this attack and any other use of cluster munitions. The attack must be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice”, he said.

(With information from Europa Press)

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