On 24 February 2022, in violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, Russia unleashed a full-scale military assault on Ukraine by air, ground and sea, attacking airports, ports, urban areas, civilian infrastructure and the nuclear exclusion zone in Chernobyl.
On the same day, the President of Ukraine called for the introduction of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as well as other effective steps to stop the aggressor, and Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise announced the suspension of the airspace of Ukraine.
Since then, Russia has been using Ukrainian airspace to commit war crimes by indiscriminately shelling urban areas with terrible consequences for the civilian population.
For instance, on 26 February 2022, a Russian airborne rocket struck the Okhmatdyt National Children’s Specialized Hospital in Kyiv, killing one child and injuring another three, as well as two adults.
Article 51 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol I) provides that:
“Article 51 – Protection of the civilian population
1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. [!p!/]
for an independent Ukraine