OSCE: Russia has broken international humanitarian law in Ukraine

A report released by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that Russia has broken international humanitarian law in Ukraine. The Vienna-based security body noted that Russian forces have indiscriminately targeted civilian targets, including hospitals, schools, residential buildings, and water facilities.

The report highlighted the attacks on the Mariupol Maternity House and Children’s Hospital as well as the Mariupol Drama Theater, which had been turned into a civilian shelter.

Addressing the maternity hospital, the report concluded, “Based upon Russian explanations, the attack must have been deliberate. No effective warning was given and no time-limit set. This attack therefore constitutes a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law and those responsible for it have committed a war crime.”

The report also noted that attacks against Ukrainian hospitals were widespread.

“While it may be that one hospital was used by the defender for military purposes or destroyed by mistake, it is hardly possible that this is the case when 50 hospitals are destroyed,” the report states.

The 110-page report mentions cases of targeted killings, abductions, and torture. It covered the time period from February 24th to April 1st, so it does not include the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha.

“Taken as a whole, the report documents the catalogue of inhumanity perpetrated by Russia’s forces in Ukraine,” said Michael Carpenter, U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, stated on Wednesday. “This includes evidence of direct targeting of civilians, attacks on medical facilities, rape, executions, looting, and forced deportation of civilians to Russia.”

The report acknowledges that “violations occurred on the Ukrainian as well as on the Russian side”, but also reiterated that those committed by Russia "are by far larger in nature and scale.”

The violations committed by Ukrainian forces are mostly related to the treatment of captured Russian soldiers.

  OSCE, Russian War Crimes