Anatomy of an attack: Is Russia using cluster bombs in Ukraine?

Anatomy of an attack: Is Russia using cluster bombs in Ukraine?

Anatomy of an attack: Is Russia using cluster bombs in Ukraine?

Russia has been accused of using cluster bombs in Ukraine – and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened an investigation into possible war crimes. We’ve looked at social media videos and open-source material to detail the evidence around one attack in particular.

 

On 28 February Andriy (not his real name) was having a shower in his flat in Kharkiv when he heard loud explosions outside.

 

“I had to quickly dry myself, lying on the wet floor in a shaking house and listening to the sound of breaking glass.”

 

The windows in his flat cracked and when he looked outside, several people were lying on the floor. It was clear at least one of them was dead. They had been waiting by a water dispenser in the street which Andriy himself had visited just minutes before.

Kharkiv’s mayor later confirmed four people were killed.

The BBC has analysed footage and spoken to eyewitnesses and experts to find out more about the attack – just one of several in the current conflict that allegedly involved cluster munitions in residential areas.

Images from the aftermath of the attack show bodies – blurred out in this photo – lying near a water dispenser

News of the event was first posted on Twitter at 13:06 local time. A video showed explosions and plumes of black smoke.

 

Another video, posted soon after, showed the aftermath, with people motionless on the floor.

 

By identifying some key features – such as the water dispenser and a shoe repair shop – we can confirm the incident took place in a northern area of Kharkiv. There were multiple reports of Russian shelling on that day.

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