Russian Strikes Kill Civilians Hundreds of Miles from Ukrainian Front Line

April 28, 2023

Russia fired a series of missiles and two explosive drones, killing numerous civilians overnight Thursday in an apartment building in the central Ukraine city of Uman, hundreds of miles from any active front line.

The death toll in Uman was rising toward nearly two dozen just before noon ET Friday, but could rise higher as rescue and recovery workers picked through the remains of the apartment building. Among the dead were at least three children—two 10-year-olds and a toddler.

The strikes included the first missiles fired at the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv in nearly two months, though reportedly no one was killed in those attacks. Local Kyiv officials said Ukraine’s air forces had intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles over the city. 

Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, shared several images of the attack on Dnipro, more than 270 miles east of Uman, stating, “Russia continues terrorizing civilians.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the long-range cruise missiles launched overnight were aimed at places where Ukrainian military reserve units were staying before their deployment to the battlefield.

“The strike has achieved its goal. All the designated facilities have been hit,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. He failed to mention any specific areas or residential buildings being struck.

In Uman, however, survivors were recounting tales of terror. 

“We’re all bloodied,” a young mother wept in a video she posted on social media. Showing a destroyed bedroom, she added, “Here the children were sleeping. Thankfully all of you are alive.”

Each civilian victim constitutes a potential war crime, United Nations human rights mission head Matilda Bogner told CBS News, adding, “If you look at the scale of the injuries, of the killings, of the destruction, it’s very clear that international humanitarian law, the rules of war, have been broken.”

In March, the United States threw its support behind the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression perpetrated by Russia, which Ukraine and other nations have been requesting for months.

In mid-March, the International Criminal Court at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, pointing to his alleged involvement in the abduction of Ukrainian children. The ICC can prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity but not crimes of aggression, over which a tribunal would have jurisdiction.

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en

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