A month ago, on the night of February 23-24, the first Russian soldiers crossed the Ukrainian border. The rapid attacks of the first few days were followed by clashes that lasted days and then weeks … and 28 days later, in Kyiv, like Kharkov, if the Russian troops seemed to be ticking. The situation is especially worrisome as the bombardment continues in cities like Mariupol.
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What should we remember from the first month of this conflict, Europe’s largest military attack since World War II? It is not possible to create a thorough assessment between the thousands of amateur videos of this war broadcast on the internet, the promotions caused by the two camps, or the difficulty of journalists in accessing certain areas. Is possible. Franceinfo is still trying to keep track of these four-week wars with graphics support.
Slow advance of Russian troops
When Vladimir Putin launches an attack, he intends to carry out “Special Military Operation” Like a blitzkrieg. However, in the face of Ukrainian military resistance and logistical disappointment, his ambitions diminished. The Russian army was unable to maintain Hostmel International Airport and took several days, but it is strategic. It also keeps you away from Kyiv and Kharkov for at least a few weeks.
In the south, Russian troops are still making breakthroughs, according to the Institute for the Study of War. (In English), Especially. He left Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, joined Kherson on the first day of the attack, and arrived at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant along the Dnieper River on March 4. Later, Russian troops joined Mariupol, a strategic port for operating the junction between the recent conquest and Donbus. Another important area: the Black Sea. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Russian Navy has imposed a naval blockade on the port of Odessa.
However, these cities controlled by Russian troops may not have been completely acquired. From the first day of the occupation, numerous demonstrations by residents have been reported in several towns in southern Ukraine. On March 23, German Prime Minister Olav Schorz said Russia’s attack on Ukraine “I’m stuck[ait] Despite all the destruction, it causes every day. “
Uncertain number of victims
Many videos posted online show bodies scattered in the streets of several cities in Ukraine. However, for the time being, it is not possible to know an accurate assessment of the number of Ukrainians and Russians killed after February 24th. Each authority or government advances that number in major battles, but none of them are verifiable. Even civilians as soldiers cannot be thoroughly evaluated.
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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Ukraine has counted that 925 civilians, including 75 children, have been killed and 1,496 injured since March 21 and February 24. By considering some of the assessments published by the Ukrainian local government, these figures are significantly exceeded. On March 15, Mariupol authorities counted 2,400 casualties. On March 16th, Kharkov’s ambulance crew reached 500 people. On March 21, the Kyiv City Hall announced 65.
However, civilian losses are expected to be enormous.Regarding that estimate, OHCHR acknowledges that: “The actual number is quite high due to the delay in reporting from areas where fierce fighting continues.”.. And I will quote the seats of Mariupol and Izyum. The fighting also expelled more than 3.5 million Ukrainians from their country.
The battle of numbers is also intensifying in the military ranks. Kyiv claims to have killed 14,700 Russian soldiers against the 1,300 soldiers lost in that rank. Moscow is aware of only 498 personnel killed by the military on March 2, and has not been in contact with the matter since then. On their side, US intelligence, quoted by various media, estimates the number of losses in Russia between 3,000 and 7,000, and for Ukrainian soldiers between 2,000 and 4,000.
Uncertain mass balance
In terms of property loss, it is just as difficult to assess the damage done by each side. We knew there was a big imbalance between the weight of the Russian and Ukrainian troops, but it is difficult to visualize what the losses of both parties represent.
For example, Ukraine announced on March 18 that it had destroyed 450 Russian tanks, 870 light vehicles, 1,448 armored personnel carriers and 112 helicopters. However, it is impossible to see these numbers.On the other hand, since the conflict began, the specialized blog Orix (In English) Maintain a list of significant losses for the two camps listed in the video published online. “This list contains destroyed equipment with evidence, photos, or videos. Therefore, the amount of destroyed equipment is much higher than we have identified.”Explain the author (In English)..
This count is also biased. It is easy to imagine that the published videos are often Ukrainian and show more Russian losses than those suffered by the Ukrainian army. As of March 23, the site counted 1,721 Russian losses and 508 Ukrainian losses.
Massive use of cluster bombs
A widely documented element since February 24th is the use of certain weapons, especially cluster munitions. These warheads are formidable because they explode in two stages. Before landing, it releases a large number of small bombs that are vaguely scattered and explode in an area of tens of meters. This blind explosion principle makes targeting impossible and civilians are victims of collateral.
100 countries have signed the Oslo Treaty to ban this type of ammunition, but Moscow and Kyiv are not part of it. Russia was already using it in 2014 during the conflict in Ukraine, and then in Syria. Since February 24, several NGOs have been investigating these uses, including the research site Bellingcat. (In English)Amnesty International (In English)Or Human Rights Watch (In English)..
From images identified and geographically located by these NGOs and the Online Research Group Center for Information Resilience. (In English)Reconstructed some of these attacks.
Click the arrow below to explore the map
Hospitals and schools are generous
Moscow has repeatedly claimed that its army did not target civilians. However, a great deal of infrastructure has been bombed since the beginning of the conflict. Start from the hospital. On March 17, the World Health Organization announced that it had counted 43 medical institutions that were attacked. (In English).. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, there are 63 of them, seven of whom have been completely destroyed.
Again, these numbers are difficult to see, but this Russian strategy is reminiscent of the numerous bombings of Syrian hospitals. Amateur images posted online by Ukrainians will help document these events.
Click the arrow below to explore the map
Schools are also the target of bombardment, some of which have been completely destroyed. The map above lists about 15 of them, but this number is not perfect. Given that the Ukrainian army uses several schools as shelters, it is unclear which percentage of these Russian strikes targeted Kyiv soldiers.
After four weeks of bombing, some areas have been disfigured. The situation is particularly uncertain in Mariupol, where some testimony has signaled severe destruction. Satellite imagery shows this. As you can see here, in Volnovakha near Mariupol, an image of Planet on March 14 shows the destruction of the school in particular.
So many elements that feed the accusations against Russia. After the bombing of Mariupol Hospital on March 9, European officials described the incident as follows: “Brutal war crimes”.. Several international organizations are beginning to document the dispute in detail. “We call on the international community to work with the International Criminal Court to collect all these major human rights abuses and one day be able to judge the perpetrators.”Amnesty International claims.