Government and Russia-backed rebel forces repeatedly used cluster munitions in eastern Ukraine in January and February 2015, killing at least 13 civilians, including at least two children. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the weapon’s indiscriminate nature and may constitute a war crime.
Travel restrictions imposed by the government of Ukraine have contributed to serious delays in the delivery of humanitarian aid, particularly medicines and medical equipment, to civilians in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. Human Rights Watch released a video based on interviews with medical personnel and patients in eastern Ukraine.
Separatist rebel forces were probably responsible for two recent unlawful attacks with unguided rockets in eastern Ukraine, which together killed at least 41 civilians, including two children, and wounded more than 100 civilians.
The war in eastern Ukraine has had a devastating impact on civilians, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The armed conflict between Russia-backed rebels and Ukrainian government forces broke out during the most turbulent year in Ukraine’s post-independence period, which also included mass protests, the overthrow of the government, and Russia’s occupation of Crimea.