TASS Claim: There are no threats whatsoever to the (Ukrainian) civilian population

Woolery

Active Member
Article:
When clarifying the unfolding developments, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.
Source: TASS Russian News Agency
TASS has tagged versions of this graf to the end of its lead stories on Ukraine since the fighting began. The above quote comes from today’s (3/5) news.

Article:
The United Nations said that 227 civilians had been killed and 525 injured between Feb. 24, when the invasion began, and March 1, but has noted that its numbers are likely undercounts.
Source: New York Times
This is the last UN count I could find. Unfortunately it’s 4 days old and wouldn’t capture any casualties from the recent intense fighting. And as the UN itself notes, their tally is likely an undercount.

Article:
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has killed more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians and destroyed hundreds of structures including transport facilities, hospitals, kindergartens and homes, Ukraine's emergency service said on Wednesday.
Source: Reuters
Obviously Ukraine has every reason to inflate the civilian casualties so it’s tally of 2000 deaths might’ve been too high when it was reported on 3/2.

I was hoping this post’s purpose could be twofold: 1. Debunk the claim Russia is making that its military operation in Ukraine poses zero threat to Ukrainian civilians and 2. Provide a place to periodically post updated and more accurate numbers on Ukrainian civilian casualties as they become available. Can anybody find a more reliable/recent casualty count? Thanks.
 
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Woolery

Active Member
Quick addendum with a more recent UN assessment, according to a recently updated Reuters story:
A United Nations monitoring mission said at least 351 civilians had been confirmed killed and 707 injured in Ukraine so far since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, adding that the real figures were likely to be "considerably higher".
Reuters
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Some cities (e.g. Mariupol) are without power, water, or heat, because Russia has targetted essential infrastructure. This is also a threat to civilians.

Article:

Proportionality and precautions in attack: The reverberating effects of using explosive weapons in populated areas - International Review of the Red Cross​


The principle of proportionality is codified in Article 51(5)(b) of Protocol I of 8 June 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions (AP I). It prohibits attacks “which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated”. It has been identified by the ICRC Study as a rule of customary international humanitarian law (IHL) applicable in international and noninternational armed conflicts, and parties to an armed conflict must take all feasible precautions to refrain
from disproportionate attacks.

Violation of the principle of proportionality – although with a small but significant difference in its formulation – also constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
 

Woolery

Active Member
Article:
The United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday that it had verified 1,335 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 474 killed and 861 injured, since Russia's invasion began on Feb. 24.

But the civilian toll was incomplete pending corroboration of reports, it said in a statement: "This concerns, for example, the towns of Volnovakha, Mariupol, Izium where there are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties."
Source: Reuters

Article:
U.S. intelligence estimates put that number closer to 2,000 deaths and as many as 10,000 injured in 11 days of fighting.
Source: Newsweek (reported March 7)

Just my opinion: Based on these reports (and the Ukraine government’s last estimate of 2000 civilian deaths 6 days ago), a reasonable estimate to date would appear to be somewhere between 500-3000 civilians dead, 1000-10000 injured during Russia’s most recent military action in Ukraine. I don’t think the tally can be lower than the low end, based on the UN’s own warning that civilian casualties are likely significantly higher, but I think it’s possible (but unlikely) that it’s higher than the high end.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, trapping children and others under the rubble in what Ukraine’s president called an “atrocity”.

The Donetsk region’s governor said 17 people were wounded in the attack, including women in labour. The reports could not immediately be verified.

About 200,000 people in Mariupol are waiting to flee violence as the humanitarian situation is reportedly growing more desperate by the day.

The port city has been without water, heat, functioning sanitation systems or phone connections for the past week, with bodies lying uncollected on the streets and residents relying on streams or melting snow for drinking water. Continued shelling has also prevented repairs to damaged heating and water infrastructure.

Ukraine said at least 1,170 civilians had been killed in Mariupol since the start of the invasion, and 47 were buried in a mass grave on Wednesday. It was not possible to verify the figures.

The United Nations human rights office in Geneva, just prior to the reports of the hospital attack, said it had verified 516 civilian deaths and 908 people wounded since the conflict began.


From Monday:
Article:
Dominik Stillhart, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has been speaking with BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Asked what's gone wrong with so-called humanitarian corridors, he said they had been talking to both sides "for days", but problems remained confirming the detail of any ceasefire agreement - to allow civilians out of bombarded cities.

Stillhart said the challenge was to get the two parties to an agreement that is "concrete, actionable and precise".

He added that so far there had only been agrements "in principle", which had immediately broken down because they lacked precision, regarding routes and who can use them.

Illustrating his point, he said some ICRC staff had tried to get out of Mariupol along an agreed route on Sunday, but soon realised "the road indicated to them was actually mined".

"That is why it is so important that the two parties have a precise agreement for us then to be able to facilitate it on the ground."
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Ukraine accused Russia of bombing a children’s hospital and maternity ward in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, trapping children and others under the rubble in what Ukraine’s president called an “atrocity”.
Russia says:
Article:
Asked about the attack, Mr Lavrov said: "As for the maternity ward, it is not the first time that we see the shouting in relation to so called atrocities of the Russian military."

He claimed that hospital had been taken over by the Azov battalion - a volunteer group fighting alongside the Ukrainian army - "a long time ago" and that all pregnant women had been taken out of the building.
 

Mauro

Active Member
Russia says:
Article:
Asked about the attack, Mr Lavrov said: "As for the maternity ward, it is not the first time that we see the shouting in relation to so called atrocities of the Russian military."

He claimed that hospital had been taken over by the Azov battalion - a volunteer group fighting alongside the Ukrainian army - "a long time ago" and that all pregnant women had been taken out of the building.

Well, Lavrov also just said they did not invade Ukraine..

Russia has not invaded Ukraine and will not invade any other country — Lavrov​

According to the Russian top diplomat, evidence indicate that Ukraine planned to attack the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics already this month


ANTALYA, March 10. /TASS/. Russia has not invaded Ukraine and doesn’t plan to attack other countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday after talks with his Ukrainian and Turkish counterparts, Dmitry Kuleba and Mevlut Cavusoglu.
"As for your question about whether we plan to invade other countries, we have no plans to invade other countries. We have not invaded Ukraine either. In Ukraine, we are simply… we have explained it many times. The situation that develops there poses direct threats to Russia’s security," he said
https://tass.com/politics/1419745?u...m_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Well, Lavrov also just said they did not invade Ukraine..
Yes, although that's neither new nor on topic. Russia is liberating the Dombass, which was invaded by Ukraine, anybody who says otherwise is clearly a criminal spreading misinformation—at least in Russia. (The UN General Assembly said otherwise.)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
From Wednesday:
Article:
So far, WHO has verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances, including 10 deaths and 16 injuries.

These attacks deprive whole communities of health care.

More than 2 million people have left Ukraine, and WHO is supporting neighbouring countries to provide health care for refugees, most of whom are women and children.

Some of the main health challenges we see are hypothermia and frostbite, respiratory diseases, lack of treatment for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and mental health issues.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
A captured Russian pilot, deputy commander of Russia's 47th aviation regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Maxim Krishtop, has said he knew that he was bombing residential areas.

He said this at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday, Ukrinform reports.

Krishtop said that since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine he managed to make three flights. During the third flight on March 6, he dropped four tonnes of high-explosive bombs on residential neighborhoods before his aircraft was shot down.

"While carrying out a combat mission, I realized that the target was not the enemy's military facilities, but residential buildings and civilians, but I fulfilled a criminal order.

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=2900&v=W7UpswG_WrE
 

DavidB66

Active Member
The TASS claim reminds me of the old Soviet joke about Pravda (literally, 'truth') and Izvestia (literally, 'news'): 'There is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.' I don't recall if there was a joke about TASS.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The TASS claim reminds me of the old Soviet joke about Pravda (literally, 'truth') and Izvestia (literally, 'news'): 'There is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.' I don't recall if there was a joke about TASS.
This version has a double meaning, one of which is "harmless": "In Pravda there is no news, and in Izvestya there is no truth."
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Source: https://m.imgur.com/gallery/niEAe9B


This is what leads to "collateral damage" to residential buildings from air strikes and artillery. I expect both sides have been doing it.

That said, when the civilian casualties increased after the first few days, this was no longer the only reason for them.
 

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Woolery

Active Member
The following excerpt is from yesterday’s lead TASS story. It’s worth mentioning Russia is still asserting its original claim:

Article:
Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 launched a special military operation in Ukraine following a request for assistance from the leaders of the Donbass republics. He said Moscow had no plans for an occupation of Ukrainian territories. The sole purpose is the country’s demilitarization and denazification. The Defense Ministry has repeatedly said the Russian army avoids attacking cities, its main targets being military infrastructure. The civilian population is not at risk.
Source: TASS

Article:
From 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 24:00 midnight on 14 March 2022 (local time), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 1,834 civilian casualties in the country: 691 killed and 1,143 injured
OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, especially in Government-controlled territory and especially in recent days, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Izium (Kharkiv region), and Mariupol and Volnovakha (Donetsk region) where there are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties. These figures are being further corroborated and are not included in the above statistics.
Source: https://reliefweb.int/report/ukraine/ukraine-civilian-casualties-2400-15-march-2022-enruuk
 

Woolery

Active Member
According to the UN, verified civilian deaths have passed 1,000.

Article:
GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights office said on Thursday that at least 1,035 people have been killed and 1,650 wounded in one month of war in Ukraine.

Ninety children were among the dead, it said in a statement, adding that the true figures were believed to be considerably higher due to delays in reporting from areas with intense hostilities, including the southern besieged city of Mariupol.
Source: Yahoos News

Yet…

Article:
Russia has not publicly accepted responsibility for a single civilian death in Ukraine.
Source: Economic Times

Based on their own reports, the Russian military’s precision and respect for innocent life, while remarkable in its degree, is not surprising. They reported a similar level of military prudence during operations in Syria:

Article:
Russian military action caused civilian deaths or injuries in 4,615 incidents in Syria, according to Airwars, a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency organisation. It has been tracking military actions and related civilian harm claims in conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria and Libya since 2014, drawing on media, social media and NGO reports.

This brings Airwars' total estimate since 2015 to a minimum of 14,216 civilians killed. Overall, Russia has been linked by other sources to as many as 23,400 civilian deaths and 41,000 injuries in Syria.

But the Russian military's own estimate of civilian deaths and injuries in Syria stands at zero.
Source: Economic Times
 

Woolery

Active Member
Article:
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later that the Russian Armed Forces were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. The ministry emphasized that the Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons and there was no threat to civilians.
Source: TASS

Article:
From 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 24:00 midnight on 2 May 2022 (local time), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 6,546 civilian casualties in the country: 3,193 killed and 3,353 injured

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.

OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), and Popasna (Luhansk region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.
Source: UN
 
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