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The United Nations is calling on Russia to take accountability for the lethal attack on a funeral in Ukraine.
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The United Nations is calling on Russia to take accountability for the lethal attack on a funeral in Ukraine.

The United Nations has called on Russia to accept accountability for the fatal attack on a funeral gathering in a Ukrainian village on October 5, resulting in the death of 59 innocent civilians.

According to a report by the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, it is likely that a Russian Iskander missile, a precise short-range ballistic weapon, was responsible for the explosion in the Ukrainian village of Hroza. The report cited evidence from the debris and destruction at the site as indicative of Russia’s involvement in the attack.

The strike on Hroza resulted in the deaths of 36 women, 22 men, and an 8-year-old boy, making it one of the most deadly attacks since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on the Russian Federation to take responsibility for the harm caused to civilians during the attack. They also urge for a thorough and open investigation to identify and hold accountable those responsible, as well as take measures to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future. Additionally, the U.N. is calling for access to remedies and reparations for both direct and indirect victims.

According to the U.N. report, Russia either did not take all possible measures to confirm that their target was a military objective rather than civilians or civilian objects, or intentionally attacked civilians or a civilian object.

According to the report, both explanations are in violation of international humanitarian law.

The Russian government has not explicitly responded to the attack. However, Russia’s representative to the United Nations stated in a Security Council meeting that a prominent Ukrainian nationalist and several neo-Nazi supporters were present at the gathering.

Neither Ukraine nor Russia provided any statements on Tuesday in regards to the report.

Russia has consistently stated that it does not intentionally harm innocent civilians.

Relatives mourn at the coffins of Iryna Kharbaka and Oleksandr Khodak, who were among 59 civilians killed in a Russian missile attack, amid Moscow's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, at their funeral in the village of Hroza, near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Oct. 9, 2023.

Loved ones grieve as they pay their respects to Iryna Kharbaka and Oleksandr Khodak, two of the 59 innocent civilians who lost their lives in a Russian missile strike during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Moscow. The funeral took place in the village of Hroza, near Kharkiv, Ukraine on October 9, 2023.

Family of 9 killed

According to reports, a family of nine in Volnovakha, a town in eastern Ukraine currently under Russian occupation, was fatally shot in their residence.

Images released by officials show a horrific scene at the residence, with the deceased individuals found in their beds amidst walls covered in blood.

The prosecutor’s office in Donetsk province, which is supported by Ukraine, reported that the murders took place when the homeowner refused to leave the house at the request of a group of men in military attire who wanted to use it for Russian forces. The office stated that among the victims were two young children.

Russian authorities reported that two soldiers hailing from the Far East region have been detained in relation to a series of killings. These soldiers had previously agreed to serve in Ukraine under contracts with the Russian military.

In February 2022, Russian troops took control of Volnovakha as part of their invasion of Ukraine. In 2014, pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk took control of government buildings and declared the regions as independent “people’s republics.” This occurred after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

The killings coincide with a tense confrontation between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine, as the conflict enters its second year.

The city of Bakhmut is currently experiencing a new offensive by Russian forces, with a particular focus on the strategic town of Avdiivka.

A Ukrainian retaliation that started in June has had limited success, reclaiming a few hundred square kilometers of land.