The scale of Russia’s strikes on Ukraine’s civilian population and objects is captured in a continually updated online map (Picture: Sky Armstrong/Getty/Metro.co.uk/CIR)
A live map being used to monitor Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine lays bare the scale of attacks on the country’s civilian population.
The dashboard shows how targets including schools and hospitals have come under fire since the start of the war 18 months ago.
Mass graves, civilian casualties and damaged homes are recorded in the bird’s eye view of the attacks, mainly comprised of shelling and drone and missile strikes, being carried out by Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Events are being documented at a granular level, with reports in the past fortnight including a casualty being removed from a residential building in Donetsk and damage to a hospice in Kherson.
The rapidly mounting number of alleged Russian war crimes is separately being recorded by the Tribunal for Putin (T4P) coalition, which told last month how it is preparing for the day when Putin faces justice.
Ben Strick, director of investigations at the CIR, said: ‘Open source data and analysis give a remarkable bird’s-eye view of what is going on in Ukraine.
‘It lays bare the damage and suffering inflicted on the Ukrainian people.
‘As Ukrainian children start the new school year, our analysis shows that almost 500 schools, colleges and kindergartens have been damaged or destroyed since the full-scale invasion began. On top of that, we have seen extensive damage to homes, hospitals, businesses, farms, food supplies and more, mostly in the south and east of Ukraine.’
A scorched residential block in the neighbourhood of northern Saltivka which lies in the Kharkiv region (Picture: Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group)
Russian forces left a scene of devastation in the Ruski Tyshky village in the Kharkiv region (Picture: Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group)
Developed in collaboration with C4ADS, a US non-profit organization tackling illicit networks, the ‘witness project’ is designed to shed light on war crimes and related human rights abuses.
The vast span of videos, photographs, satellite imagery and other media that has become a feature of the war is made more accessible and understandable through the live picture.
Along with attacks on people and the civilian infrastructure, the locations of Russian troops and ground battles can also be traced on the tool hosted by the CIR, a UK-based, non-profit organization.
Strick said: ‘Analysis by the Centre for Information Resilience’s investigators involves double-checking the origins of imagery, geolocation and cross-checking social media videos with satellite imagery.
‘Following the Russian invasion last year, we’ve archived and investigated thousands of pieces of data involving war crimes, human rights abuses and damage resulting from the war in Ukraine. Our Eyes on Russia map makes the damage and destruction to Ukraine fully transparent.’
On Wednesday 15 people, including a child, were killed in an explosion in Kostyantynivka, a city in the eastern Donetsk region.
Kyiv said Russia was behind the explosion, which took place on a busy market street during the middle of the day.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the ‘deliberate strike’ and said: ‘Whenever there is a Ukrainian Defence Forces advance in the offensive, the Russians target civilians and civilian infrastructure wherever their missiles or artillery can reach.’
Human rights defenders want to make sure that Vladimir Putin does not escape judgement for Russian aggression in Ukraine (Picture: Sputnik via Reuters)
The T4P’s separate figures show more than 50,000 alleged war crimes having been committed by Russian forces since the start of the Kremlin’s all-out attack up to Thursday this week.
The victims include people killed or injured by shelling and airstrikes and others who have given harrowing testimony of being tortured.
Field work, including witness statements and visual imagery, has been gathered together by the group, backing up what it has described as a ‘systematic’ pattern of war crimes across Ukraine committed by Russian forces and their proxies.
Satellite images show bodies thought to have been lying in Bucha for weeks, contradicting Russia’s claim that the scenes were staged (Picture: Maxar)
Denys Volokha, media director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, one of the tribunal’s three trustee organizations, told Metro.co.uk this week that the T4P had recently made two submissions alleging Russian war crimes to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
One, submitted last month, concerns more than 32,000 documented attacks on civilian populations and objects with various types of weapons.
The specimen figure covers the period from February 24, 2022 to April 30 this year, with the number since rising on a daily basis.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives to deliver a speech entitled ‘No Peace Without Justice for Ukraine’ at The Hague (Picture: Reuters)
Evhen Zakharov, the Kharkiv group’s director, said: ‘There are so many war crimes that investigating them could take decades.
‘However, where will the witnesses, victims and evidence be during this time? That’s why we aim to highlight the most widespread and brutal war crimes that demand accountability from those responsible.’
The targeting of Ukraine’s civilian population and infrastructure has been a feature of the war, with waves of drone strikes on the power network during the cold winter months and attacks on grain facilities.
In the UK, the CIR is running the Eyes on Russia map as one of several witness projects that also include investigating and documenting human rights abuses in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sudan.
To view the Eyes on Russia map, click here.