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May 19, 2022 The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Human Rights Watch writes to you today to highlight the urgent need for action…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
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Apparent War Crimes in Kyiv, Chernihiv Regions

(Kyiv) – Russian forces controlling much of the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions in northeastern Ukraine from late February through March 2022 subjected civilians to summary executions, torture, and other grave abuses that are apparent war crimes, Human…
Volodymyr Ivashchenko shows the basement where he sheltered in the initial days of the war, together with his wife, mother-in-law, daughter, and 3-year-old grandson, in Yahidne, April 17, 2022.
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Human Rights Watch Oral Statement

34th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council 12 May 2022 Human Rights Watch has documented grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Russian military forces in occupied areas of Ukraine, including summary…
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Russia, Ukraine Should Join International Ban Treaty

Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in attacks in Ukraine, and Ukrainian forces also appear to have used them at least once. Cluster munitions spread multiple explosive submunitions or bomblets over a wide area…
202205arms_ukraine_clustermunition
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Killings, Torture of Civilians

(Nairobi) – Forces in the Central African Republic, whom witnesses identified as Russian, appear to have summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians since 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. National authorities, the country’s Special Criminal…
A UN peacekeeper alongside a member of Russian security forces and a member of Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s presidential guard in Bangui, December 27, 2020.
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Civilians Killed Trying to Flee, Approaching Checkpoints

(Kyiv) – Russian forces have fired on civilian vehicles in three separate incidents in Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, killing six civilians and wounding three, Human Rights Watch said today. In one case, they pulled a man from a van and…
Maksym Maksymenko’s shot-up car in Hostomel, Ukraine. Russian forces opened fire on the vehicle on February 28, 2022 while Maksym was trying to evacuate with his mother, mother-in-law, wife, and their toddler son. Maksym and his wife were wounded, his mother died.
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Preserving Evidence Critical for War Crimes Prosecutions

Russian forces committed a litany of apparent war crimes during their occupation of Bucha, a town about 30 kilometers northwest of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, from March 4 to 31, 2022, Human Rights Watch said in a detailed report released today. Human…
Women watch and embrace each other as bodies are exhumed from a mass grave by the authorities
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Antivehicle landmines (also called anti-tank mines) have been used in many contemporary conflicts, including currently by Russian and Ukrainian forces in Ukraine. They are designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting…
Destroyed vehicle in Bucha, Ukraine with the word “mines” in Russian, April 4, 2022.
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Video Appears to Show Fighters Shooting Russian POWs

(New York) – Ukraine should ensure an effective investigation into alleged abuse by Ukrainian fighters of Russian prisoners of war (POWs), Human Rights Watch said today. If confirmed, the beating and shooting of captured combatants in their legs would…
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Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
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Facilitate Humanitarian Aid, Safe Evacuations, and Access to Water, Electricity

Civilians in Ukraine’s northern city of Chernihiv have had limited access to running water, electricity, or heat since early March 2022, when Russian forces escalated their assault on the city, Human Rights Watch said today. Since at least March 24…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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Landmines Threaten Civilian Lives, Prolong Recovery

(Berlin, March 29, 2022) – Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have used banned antipersonnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region, Human Rights Watch said today.  The antipersonnel mines were located by Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal…
POM-3 antipersonnel mines that failed to deploy and remnants of its delivery canister found by deminers in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on or around March 28.
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Cluster Munitions Used, Vacuum Bombs Spotted in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, Human Rights Watch has been busy investigating what’s happening on the ground – including scrutinizing the weapons being used in the conflict. Under the laws of war, parties to the conflict must do everything feasible to…
An apartment building explodes
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Residents Describe Harsh Conditions During Russian Attack

Thirty-two civilians who managed to escape southeastern Ukraine’s besieged city of Mariupol last week told Human Rights Watch how they struggled to survive in below-freezing temperatures as Russian forces relentlessly attacked the city. They described…
A woman and her family try to get a signal over medium wave radio
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Incendiary weapons are among the cruelest weapons used in contemporary armed conflict. These weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause immediate and lifelong human suffering in addition to…
Remnants of a misfired 9M22S incendiary 122mm Grad rocket
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Civilians Killed, Injured in Multiple Attacks That May Amount to War Crimes

(Berlin) – Russian forces repeatedly fired cluster munition rockets into the densely populated city of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, during separate attacks on March 7, 11, and 13, 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. An attack on March 13…
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Serious Concerns for Civilians Remaining in the City

Update: Local officials in Mariupol reported on March 25, 2022, that about 300 people died during the March 16 attack on the theater. Human Rights Watch has not been able to verify the casualty figures. A mother and son who sheltered in the theater…
Satellite image recorded on March 14
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Written Testimony by Bonnie Docherty Before The House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber

"Chair Keating, Ranking Member Fitzpatrick, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this hearing today. I would like to highlight two types of weapons that Russian forces are using widely and with devastating effects…
Smoke rises after shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 4, 2022.
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Published Footage of Captured Soldiers Violates Geneva Conventions

(Berlin) – Ukrainian authorities should stop posting on social media and messaging apps videos of captured Russian soldiers that expose them to public curiosity, in particular those that show them being humiliated or intimidated, Human Rights Watch said…
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On Wednesday, Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Johnson is certainly right that Ukrainian civilians are being killed by indiscriminate attacks, but will anyone end up in the dock? The…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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