“The pattern of attacks will help prosecutors build the case that these are deliberate attacks,” said Ryan Goodman, professor of law at New York University and former special counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense. “Prosecutors will draw inferences from how many medical facilities were targeted, how many times individual facilities were repeatedly struck and in what span of time.”
For a month now, Russian forces have repeatedly attacked Ukrainian medical facilities, striking at hospitals, ambulances, medics, patients and even newborns — with at least 34 assaults independently documented by The Associated Press.
With every new attack, the public outcry for war crimes prosecutions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, his generals and top Kremlin advisers grows louder.
To convict, prosecutors will need to show that the attacks are not merely accidents or collateral damage. The emerging pattern, tracked day by day by the AP, shows evidence of a consistent and relentless onslaught against the very civilian infrastructure designed to save lives and provide safe haven to Ukraine’s most vulnerable.
AP journalists in Ukraine have seen the deadly results of Russian strikes on civilian targets first hand: the final moments of children whose tiny bodies were shredded by shrapnel or had limbs blown off; dozens of corpses, including those of children, heaped into mass graves.
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