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UN blames Ukraine and Russia for attack on nursing home

Russian military attacked a nursing home in the Luhansk area of eastern Ukraine two weeks after their invasion in February. Numerous elderly and handicapped individuals were confined inside without access to water or electricity.

A fire that spread across the building as a result of the attack on March 11 suffocated those who were immobile. A few patients and staff members managed to flee and hide in a neighbouring woodland, travelling nearly five kilometres (3 miles) before receiving help.

The attack on the nursing home close to the town of Stara Krasnyanka stood out for its severity in a war rife with crimes. The Russian military was blamed by Ukrainian authorities for killing more than 50 defenceless people in a cruel and unjustified onslaught.

But according to a recent UN assessment, the military of Ukraine is also responsible for a significant portion of what occurred in Stara Krasnyanka, which is located around 580 kilometres (360 miles) southeast of Kyiv. The nursing home became a target a few days prior to the attack when Ukrainian forces set up a position inside.

As per the United Nations, at least 22 of the 71 patients survived the attack, although the precise number of fatalities is still unknown.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ assessment did not reach the conclusion that either the Russian or Ukrainian military engaged in war crimes. However, it said that the conflict at the Stara Krasnyanka nursing home is illustrative of worries held by the human rights office over the potential use of ‘human shields’ to obstruct military operations in particular regions.

The majority of the hundreds of civilian deaths have been caused by Russia’s routinely indiscriminate bombardment of residential complexes, hospitals, schools, and theatres. Ukraine and its allies have condemned Moscow for the fatalities and injuries and demanded that those in charge be brought to account.

However, Former Defense Department official and veteran of multiple international war crime investigations David Crane stated that the failure of the Ukrainian forces to evacuate the inmates and personnel of the nursing home may have violated the rules of armed conflict.

‘The Russians are the bad guys (in this conflict). That’s pretty clear. But everybody is accountable to the law and the laws of armed conflict’, Crane said.


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