A Russian rocket attack Thursday destroyed a cafe and grocery store in Hroza, Ukraine, killing at least 51 civilians, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Ukranian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko stated on Telegram that a six-year-old child was among the dead in Hroza, a village of around 300 people. The search and rescue mission continues into Friday, as rescuers and forensic scientists sort through the debris and identify those killed.
Civilians endangered by armed conflicts are protected by Geneva Convention IV, adopted in 1949. The 1949 Geneva Convention IV protects civilians who are threatened by armed conflicts. In the same way, articles 51 and 52 in the Protocol One of the Geneva Conventions forbid the targeting of civilians or civilian objects. Both Russia and Ukraine have signed the protocol and are parties to the Geneva Conventions. In 2019, Russia retracted its declaration that the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission was competent to investigate protocol violations. In a speech he gave later in the day
, he called Russian attackers an “absolute evil.” The world has the resources to make this happen. Unity is the key. It is important to protect lives and believe in freedom. Our main message today to the world: Evil cannot prevail. Only in Ukraine can we maintain this moral principle. But together, we are all!