UN inquiry into missile strike that killed 59 civillians concludes Russia was responsible – JURIST

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The UN Human Rights office Tuesday concluded that the October 5 missile strike in Hroza, Ukraine was launched by Russia. The strike, which was labeled the deadliest since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, killed 59 people in the small village of Hroza. At the time of the attack, Moscow denied that it was intentionally targeting civilians. However, the UN launched an inquiry into the missile strike, which yielded the findings published on Tuesday.

The report details that while Moscow has not taken responsibility for the attack, a “representative of the Russian authorities asserted that the funeral gathering was a legitimate military objective.” The report uses the standard of reasonable grounds to come to its findings. It determined that “the Russian armed forces either (i) failed to do everything feasible to verify that the target to be attacked was a military objective, rather than civilians or civilian objects, or (ii) deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects.”

In its methodology, the investigation used site inspections and interviewed eyewitnesses to the strike. Among those interviewed include “two survivors, medical staff, morgue employees and representatives of local authorities.”

International humanitarian law sets out that civilians who are not engaging in armed conflict may not be harmed, killed or tortured. The key treaties that outline these protections and the laws governing states’ conduct during conflict are the 1907 Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions. Importantly, the Fourth Geneva Convention sets out the status and treatment of protected persons, such as civilians.

The Russian Federation has not commented on the report at the time of publication.

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