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Explosive violence by the Russian armed forcesExplosive violence in UkraineAOAV: all our reports

17 killed and 32 injured in Russian missile strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine, 17-18 Aug

From the evening of 17 Aug to pre-dawn on 18 Aug, a series of Russian missile strikes on residential neighbourhoods in Kharkiv killed 17 civilians and injured 32, destroying homes and commercial premises.

Late on 17 Aug, 13 civilians were killed and 20 injured, including one child, when a Russian ground-launched Iskander missile hit a three-storey house in Kharkiv’s Saltivskyi district. The house was completely destroyed, and the strike caused a fire to spread. 

Overnight, four civilians were killed, including an 11-year-old boy, and 22 injured, including two children, in a missile strike on a dormitory in Kharkiv’s Slobidskyi district. The dormitory was partially destroyed and a neighbouring shop damaged.

Since 24 February 2022, AOAV has recorded 338 incidents of Russian explosive weapon use targeting urban residential areas in Ukraine, or 43% of the total 789 incidents of Russian-perpetrated explosive violence recorded in that time.

Urban residential areas are the locations in which AOAV has recorded the majority of incidents of Russian explosive weapon use in Ukraine, followed by 30% in locations where multiple urban areas are affected, 10% in villages, 3% in locations where no information is recorded, and 2% in schools.

Russian armed forces’ use of explosive weapons in urban residential areas is responsible for 28% of the total 5,839 reported civilian casualties of Russian explosive violence in Ukraine since 24 Feb 2022. 

When Russian armed forces used explosive weapons in urban residential areas in Ukraine, 100% of the casualties are civilians. 

Globally, since 2010, AOAV has recorded 439 incidents of Russian explosive weapon use in urban residential areas, resulting in 2,367 reported civilian casualties. When Russia has used explosive weapons in urban residential areas, 99% of reported casualties are civilians. 

In total, since 2010, AOAV has recorded 5,201 incidents of explosive weapon use in urban residential areas, which have caused 42,008 reported civilian casualties. Urban residential areas are the most targeted known location of explosive weapon use. When explosive weapons are used in urban residential areas, 92% of the total 45,492 reported casualties are civilians.

State actors are the reported perpetrators in the case of 44% of incidents of explosive weapon use in urban residential areas, and non-state actors in the case of 34%.

The reported perpetrator of the most incidents of explosive weapon use in urban residential areas is Russia, while the reported perpetrator of the most civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in urban residential areas is Syria.


AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.