Irpin refugee column shelling

Irpin refugee column shelling
Part of the Battle of Irpin
Transfer of civilians from Irpin to Kyiv due to Russian attacks.jpg
Refugees fleeing from Russian bombardments over a bridge in Irpin
LocationIrpin intersection, Ukraine
DateMarch 6, 2022 (2022-03-06)
Attack type
Mortar strikes, explosive projectiles
Perpetrator Russian Armed Forces[2]
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On 6 March 2022, from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time, the Russian Armed Forces repeatedly shelled an intersection in Irpin that hundreds of civilians were using to escape to Kyiv, whilst a Ukrainian artillery position was located nearby. They killed eight Ukrainian civilians. Human Rights Watch alleged the Russian army carried out an unlawful, indiscriminate, and disproportionate attack. The incident was part of an assault on Irpin, during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.


On 6 March 2022 there were hundreds of civilians at the intersection on the P30 road, near the St. George's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, just south of a bridge that the Ukrainian army had destroyed to hinder the Russian invasion. The civilians were fleeing the Russian army's advance from Irpin towards Kyiv. In the intersection near the bridge were a dozen Ukrainian soldiers, some helping the civilians carry their luggage and children.[1][3] The Ukrainian artillery was firing mortar rounds from a position about 180 meters away.[1][3] No agreements had been reached between the parties about a temporary ceasefire or humanitarian corridor.[1]

Journalists of The New York Times and freelance journalists on the scene report that for several hours the Russian army bombarded the intersection that the civilians were using to flee.[1][3] The Russians fired explosive projectiles into the area, with projectiles hitting the intersection or the surrounding area every 10 minutes,[1] killing at least eight civilians, as reported by the Ukrainian authorities.[1][4]

Among the victims were a group of four, including two children, who were killed by a mortar strike.[5][6][7][8]

According to Human Rights Watch, it is possible that the projectiles were "observed" by the Russians, who would then know where they were landing and could easily have adjusted the aim away from the intersection. Instead they engaged in prolonged shelling of the intersection being used by civilians, which indicates "potential recklessness or deliberateness" on their part. The repeated nature of the attacks suggests that Russian forces "violated their obligations under international humanitarian law not to conduct indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks that harm civilians, and failed to take all feasible measures to avoid civilian casualties."[1]

The human rights organisation also stated that the Ukrainian forces "have an obligation to take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimize civilian harm," such as refraining from engaging in combat in populated areas.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ukraine: Russian Assault Kills Fleeing Civilians". Human Rights Watch. March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  2. ^ Trofimov, Yaroslav (6 March 2022). "Russian Artillery Kills Ukrainian Civilians Fleeing Kyiv Suburb". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Addario, Lynsey (6 March 2022). "Russian forces fire on evacuees, leaving 4 people dead outside Kyiv". New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  4. ^ "8 civilians killed during evacuation from Irpin near Kyiv". The Kyiv Independent. 6 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  5. ^ Lynsey Addario, Andrew E. Kramer (March 6, 2022). "Ukrainian Family's Dash for Safety Ends in Death". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  6. ^ Paulina Villegas, David L. Stern and Sarah Cahlan (March 6, 2022). "Two Ukrainian children killed 'in front of my own eyes' while trying to evacuate, official says". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  7. ^ "Man returns after family killed near Kyiv, says his "beloved wife is lying in a black bag on the floor" of a morgue". CBS News. 10 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  8. ^ Said, Carolyn (9 March 2022). "Silicon Valley tech worker was the Ukrainian mom lying dead on street in brutal photo that sparked outrage". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
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