As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on into its ninth month, concerns are growing over how the war-torn country can counter a Russian push to destroy energy infrastructure, triggering blackouts which risks leaving millions of Ukrainians in the dark without heating as winter approaches. It is a form of terror that continues day in, day out. According to Ukrainian authorities, Russia has destroyed around 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure to date.
Forbes recently estimated that Russia spent $400-700 million in missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy and civilian infrastructure in just half a day on October 10.
Journalists from all over the world continue to gather and report the facts of Russian war crimes in Ukraine as other judiciary efforts to hold accountable the perpetrators of such atrocities are on the way.
Who is green-lighting civilian attacks against Ukraine?
Who gives orders to fire missiles at Ukraine’s civilian population is a questions many have asked since Russian invaded nearly nine months ago. Journalists from publications including The Insider, Bellingcat, and Der Spiegel have conducted a joint investigation to expose those whose military commands resulted in cruise missile attacks on a playground, a residential building, and the country’s critical infrastructure.
The investigation, which aims to highlight Russia’s war crimes on civilian populations, can be used as more evidence against those responsible for the killing of dozens of civilians.
- You can read the collaborative investigation, here.
The story of a Mariupol family who escaped the occupied city by foot
The whole world was shocked when the stories emerged from Russian-occupied Mariupol, where thousands of civilians were killed as the city came under siege early in the war and faced a grim barrage of attacks. Many civilians in Mariupol today are left without drinking water, electricity, gas and communication networks. Accounts from those who survived and escaped the seized city paint a picture of pure terror.
“They were their [Russian forces] vehicles they were firing from,” said mother of four, Tetiana, who escaped Mariupol by foot. “We found a way to get around them. There were bodies lying on the streets.”
- Read the story by Bihus.info of a family who walked for five days to get out of the war-torn city, here.
Russian occupiers recruit and kidnap Ukrainian children
After Ukraine’s liberation of its eastern city of Kupyansk, stories of Ukrainian children abducted by Russian forces under the guise of vouchers to children’s camps emerged. While Russia refuses to return the children to Ukraine, in mid-October Ukraine managed to return 37 children to their families.
- Journalists at Slidstvo.Info looked into how Russia recruits and militarizes Ukrainian schoolchildren, which you can read about, here.
Russians Kidnap Pro-Ukraine Bloggers in Kherson
Silencing the truth while pushing out wild propaganda is a key trick from Russia’s playbook – so the disappearance of three Ukrainian bloggers who criticised Moscow’s attacks came as no surprise. From the early days of Russia’s seizure of Kherson, it cut off the region from any local news, replacing it with Russia-friendly news.
- Read the story documented by the journalists of Bihus info of the man whose mother – who ran a popular social media channel – was kidnapped by Russian forces, here.
Five Ukrainian civilians tortured and starved during months-long ordeal
Five young Ukrainian men captured by Russian forces spent half a month in a ditch in a are in the Kyiv region, where there were beaten, starved, and tortured by Russian soldiers as the occupiers tried to obtain information from them. One of the captive Ukrainians was shot at close range in the leg with a machine gun, and did not receive any medical care for more than a week.
- You can read the testimonies, told to Radio Svoboda of those who survived the horrific ordeal, here
Edited by Stephen McGrath
Photo: Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs