A train station crowded with evacuees fleeing the war ravaged Donetsk region is the latest site on a growing list of civilian locations reportedly targeted by Russian forces.
On the morning of 8 April 2022, two powerful rockets struck Kramatorsk railway station, killing at least 39 people and injuring 87 more, most of whom were families of women, children, and the elderly, according to initial estimates. More recent casualty figures place the number of people killed at 59 civilians, as the severely wounded died in hospital from their injuries.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy accused Russian forces of deliberately targeting civilians, as no Ukrainian troops were present at the station at the time of the attack. Russia’s defence ministry denied the accusation, claiming Russia’s armed forces don’t use the Tochka-U missile found at the site and had no targets assigned in Kramatorsk on the day.
According to AOAV data on civilian casualties in Ukraine since the invasion began, Russia has used explosive weapons on numerous locations with high concentrations of civilians such as urban residential areas and villages, as well as hospitals, schools, and transport related infrastructure.
Particularly shocking examples include the Russian airstrike on a theatre in Mariupol, Donetsk, where hundreds of civilians were sheltering from violence in the city. 300 people are believed to have died in the attack, many of whom were women and children.
AOAV has recorded 60 strikes on urban residential areas, resulting in 472 civilian casualties, and 37 strikes on villages, resulting in at least 248 civilian casualties. There have been at least six incidents of Russian explosive weapon use on hospitals and healthcare facilities since 24 Feb 2022, killing 67 civilians and injuring 34 more. In eight recorded incidents of Russian explosive weapon use on schools, 92 civilians have been killed or injured.
These casualty figures represent a minimum indication of the number of people killed and injured by Russian explosive weapon use, as many attacks go unreported in English-language media.
Locations of civilian casualties from explosive weapon use in Ukraine (24 Feb-08 Apr 2022)
|Event Location||Recorded Incidents||Civilian Casualties|
|Transport related infrastructure||3||145|
Top data on casualties in Ukraine
In the Ukrainian conflict, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) – which takes its sources from reputable English language media – has recorded up to 08 April:
- 2,151 casualties from explosive weapon use since the Russian invasion began (24 Feb – 08 Apr), across 158 incidents;
- 1,790 civilian casualties were recorded (1,005 killed, 785 injured);
- 361 armed-actor casualties (180 killed, 181 injured);
- Among the civilian casualties are at least 82 children, 23 women and 53 men;
- 97% (1,731) of civilian casualties have occurred in populated areas. Of the total recorded casualties (including armed-actors), 97% (2,082) have occurred in populated areas;
- Ground-launched explosive weapons (missile strikes, artillery shelling, and rockets) have caused 62% (1,104) of civilian casualties.
- Air-launched explosive weapons (specifically air strikes) have caused35% (618) of civilian casualties. 3% (60) of civilian casualties have been caused by multiple types of explosive weapons, and >1% (5) of civilian casualties have been caused by naval-launched weapons and landmines.
- Civilian casualties from explosive weapons have been recorded in Donetsk (653 civilians), Kharkiv (253), Mykolaiv (245), Kyiv (215), Chernihiv (139), Luhansk (114), Sumy (39), Zhytomyr (38), Zaporozhzhia (30), Rivne (29), Dnirpopetrovsk (10), Odessa (10), Vinnytsia (6), Lviv (5), Kherson (3), and Cherkasy (1).
- The location-types in which civilian casualties have been reported are urban residential areas (472 civilian casualties), entertainment venues (300), villages (248), Multiple urban spaces (214), transport related infrastructure (145), hospitals (101), schools (92), public buildings (78), no location information (38), commercial premises (33), other (17), armed bases (16), roads (9), town centres (6), hotels (3), agricultural land (2), and markets (1).
For a full list of recorded incidents of casualty-causing explosive weapon use in Ukraine, click here.
Other AOAV reports on Ukraine:
- Looting the Land: is Ukraine’s black earth a reason for Putin’s invasion?
- 300 sheltering civilians killed in Russian airstrike on theatre in Mariupol
- As the UK government courts Saudi Arabia, AOAV contemplates how the Saudis are reported to have harmed nine times more civilians in Yemen than Russia has in Ukraine
- What Explosive Weapons are the Russians using in Ukraine?
- In sending weapons to Ukraine we must not forget the lessons of history
- Ukraine: AOAV’s Conflict Briefing
- What is a thermobaric bomb?
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