Espreso. Global
OPINION

Russia uses vacationers as human shields

25 June, 2024 Tuesday
16:12

Russia reported alleged large-scale injuries and deaths of several civilians on the beach of Sevastopol's Uchkuiivka around noon on June 23

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Moreover, the damage was allegedly caused by a Russian "missile as a result of the impact of air defense systems," which supposedly "deviated from the flight path at the final stage," according to the "official statement" of the aggressor's military department.

Despite the occupiers' claims that the beaches of Uchkuiivka, located just one kilometer from several important military facilities of the aggressor, were not the target of the alleged "missile attack," the only plausible cause for the damage to the beach appears to be the malfunction of the aggressor's air defense systems. The degree of responsibility of the occupation "administration" in this situation remains to be determined.

And the point is not even that Uchkuiivka "suddenly discovered" that its bomb shelters were closed or missing, or that there was no air raid warning.

I would like to remind you that the occupiers quite calmly "prohibit" the presence of civilians on the beaches of Crimea where and when this presence is not beneficial to them. Examples are the situations described by the Association of Reintegration of Crimea in 2023-2024 in the west of Crimea and on the coast of the Kerch Strait.

But this was not the case in Sevastopol, in particular in Uchkuiivka, where the aggressor deliberately uses the "holiday season" both in the format of propaganda and as a human shield, in the third year of a large-scale war.

Let me remind you that, unlike the population of Sevastopol, the occupiers move the residents of Belgorod, for example, away from the frontline zone. Because these are their people.

Thus, it is the occupiers who actively facilitate the arrival and accommodation of people in frontline Sevastopol for "recreational purposes." Not only do they fail to close the beaches, but they also encourage people to stay there in every possible way, constantly imitating a "peacetime regime." In doing so, they actively create relevant risks for civilians.

The occupiers' obligation under the Geneva Conventions was to minimize the arrival of any "tourists" to Sevastopol from 2022 onwards and to constantly inform the population about the objectively most dangerous areas saturated with Russian air defense, such as the beaches of the city's northern side and the Cape Fiolent area, and to provide an opportunity for those who wish to evacuate.

But something tells me that this shameful Russian PR tactic of using a human shield will go on.

Source

About the author. Borys Babin is a Ukrainian scholar, public and political activist, Doctor of Law, Professor.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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