Human Rights Watch has called on Ukraine to investigate the Ukrainian military’s alleged use of rocket-fired anti-personnel landmines in and around the city of Izium, located southeast of Kharkiv, during the Russian occupation.
Ukrainian forces recaptured the city after launching an offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast back in September 2022.
During the occupation, Russian forces shelled both the Ukrainian military and civilians from Izium. The Human Rights Watch previously published reports of Russia's widespread use of prohibited weapons.
"Russian forces have used anti-personnel mines in multiple areas across Ukraine, including victim-activated booby traps, since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022," the report reads.
The organization claims it has documented nine uses of PFM anti-personnel mines, which were fired into formerly Russian-controlled territories in Izium, suggesting that the Ukrainian military did it.
Ukraine is part of the 1997 Anti-Personnel Landmines Convention, which prohibits using such weapons.
“Russian forces have repeatedly used anti-personnel mines and committed atrocities across the country, but this doesn’t justify Ukrainian use of these prohibited weapons,” says Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch.
A Ukrainian deminer quoted in the report estimates that it could take decades to clear the area of all landmines since the start of the full-scale invasion.