I am appalled by the news that an airstrike hit a shopping mall in the centre of Kremenchuk, in central Ukraine, today in the afternoon. Hundreds of people were believed to be inside the mall when it was struck. Although the number of casualties is yet to be known, whatever the number is, an attack that hits a shopping mall is utterly deplorable.
My thoughts and my heart are with the families and loved ones of the people that have been killed, with those injured, and with the people of Kremenchuk and Ukraine that had to witness another tragic event.
This is only one more example of the massive suffering that Russia’s war on Ukraine is causing on the people of this country. During the weekend, we saw the disturbing reports of a new wave of airstrikes and shelling hitting, once again, civilian infrastructure in several regions of Ukraine. Many civilians have been killed or injured, and homes, health facilities and other civilian infrastructure were reportedly damaged.
The United Nations strongly condemns the impact on civilians of these latest attacks, and I call for an independent investigation to hold those responsible accountable. I will not get tired of repeating that the parties to the conflict have an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. This includes respecting the principle of proportionality on any military operation, which prohibits attacks which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects.
Kyiv, 27 June 2022.