Espreso. Global

Russia places military facilities near civilian areas in Crimea: ISW explains why

24 June, 2024 Monday
10:03

Russia is deliberately placing military facilities near civilian areas in the temporarily occupied Crimea in an attempt to deter Ukrainian strikes

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This is stated in the report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

After the Russian Defense Ministry announced on June 23 that Ukrainian forces had launched five ATACMS missiles equipped with cluster warheads at Sevastopol, Russia blamed civilian casualties on the US, as the ATACMS system was provided by Washington, despite the admission that a Russian air defense interceptor caused the missile to deviate from its flight path and explode.

Footage published on June 23 allegedly shows civilians on a beach in Sevastopol during and after a missile deviated from its flight path. Russian sources claim that cluster munitions fell on civilians near the beach in Uchuivka in northern Sevastopol.

The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said that four people were killed and 151 people were wounded in the strike. The Ukrainian military has neither confirmed nor denied the attack on Sevastopol.

Analysts say they cannot independently verify whether Ukrainian forces used ATACMS missiles with cluster warheads.

The Institute emphasizes that the Russian Defense Ministry's accusations of civilian casualties against the US are an attempt to keep the country from providing further security assistance to Ukraine.

Russian so-called military bloggers actively criticized the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian-installed authorities in Crimea for failing to prevent the attack and provide sufficient protection for "Russian civilians.”

The Russian authorities were also criticized for not using air raid sirens to warn the population to seek shelter.

Several Russian bloggers also criticized the Russian authorities for failing to detect and destroy all missiles before they approached Sevastopol and for failing to build shelters within walking distance of the beach, comparing the lack of shelters near the beach to Russia's efforts to build shelters in the Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine.

According to experts, video footage and images show that Russian troops have been deploying military equipment in civilian areas of Crimea since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The review emphasizes that the Russian authorities irresponsibly encourage Russian tourism to the occupied Crimea in wartime, and the Russian military continues to use the occupied peninsula as a rear foothold.

ISW analysts also suggest that the Russian military may be deliberately placing military installations near civilian areas in Crimea in an effort to deter Ukrainian strikes.

In addition, the report notes that Russian troops have been observed using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and schools in the occupied mainland of Ukraine to cover Russian military equipment.

“Russia is likely violating its own regulations on the application of International Humanitarian Law, which states that 'the military command shall avoid deploying military objectives in densely populated areas or in their vicinity,'” ISW writes.

  • On Sunday, June 23, Russia complained about the alleged explosions in different parts of Sevastopol. It claims that air defense shot down 4 ATACMS missiles and there are 2 dead.
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