Russian soldiers spent several hours on Sunday at a crossroads in a town west of Kyiv, where hundreds of civilians were trying to flee the capital. This is reported by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) based on eyewitnesses and image analyses.
According to the local mayor, eight people were killed, including two children.
Some Ukrainian military personnel were also present at the intersection, but they were outnumbered, HRW said. The Ukrainian soldiers who were at the crossroads helped the refugees with their luggage. A few hundred meters away, Russian and Ukrainian troops were fighting each other. According to HRW, the Russians may have deliberately fired projectiles towards the intersection.
“The hours-long bombardment of a site with evacuating civilians heightens our concerns that Russian troops are carrying out indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks and that they are not taking all possible precautions to avoid civilian deaths,” said Richard Weir, a researcher at HRW.
On Monday evening, Russia announced a local ceasefire in several cities in Ukraine. That should start on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Russian time and enable the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens via escape routes, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced.