Russian Attack on Kharkiv on June 22, 2024, Is the Next Act of Aggression and a Challenge to the International Community

On June 22, 2024, Russian troops attacked a peaceful Ukrainian city, Kharkiv, with guided aerial bombs. Here it is worth recalling that June 22, 1941, is a day the whole world knows. Now the day when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union is associated with a new criminal act of Russian aggression. It is not a coincidence: the Kremlin’s actions suggest a repetition of the fascist tactics.

The next attack by the Russians has happened in broad daylight, on a day off! At the time, someone was at home or do their daily business, someone was in hurry for shopping, someone was going to visit relatives or was just walking… Saturday, the weekly rest, unfortunately, turned out to be tragic for many citizens of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Four Russian guided aerial bombs hit a densely built-up area. As a result of this barbaric attack, residential buildings, a bus stop, a kindergarten, and a medical facility were damaged. It is known about at least three dead civilians, and more than forty were injured. How many more will it be?

The Russian occupiers openly stated that the target of their attack was the hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, which is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. Such actions contravene the provisions of the First and Second Geneva Conventions of 1949, which stipulate that health establishments and units, including hospitals, should not be attacked. According to Section II, Article 16, “the wounded and sick, as well as the disabled and pregnant women, shall enjoy the special protection.”

Ukraine always adheres to international norms and principles of warfare, avoiding attacks on hospitals and clinics with wounded Russian soldiers. Unlike the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russian troops regularly violate these norms, striking along contact lines and deliberately targeting evacuation groups. There are numerous documented cases of Russian forces’ deliberate attacks on contact lines, both with military and civilian targets.

The actions of Vladimir Putin today has direct parallels with the aggression of Adolf Hitler. In both cases, we see a severe violation of international norms and human rights. The shelling of peaceful cities and civilian objects is a crime requiring punishment.

This tragedy highlights the need for increased international support for Ukraine. Modern air defense systems must be provided as soon as possible to protect civilians and infrastructure. The world community cannot remain passive in the face of such crimes. It is necessary to increase international pressure on Russia to stop these barbaric attacks.

The UN, an organization designed to maintain peace and security, should act more decisively. This gross violation of the principles of the Geneva Convention requires immediate condemnation and action. Silence and inaction encourage aggressors.

To ensure compliance with international law and the protection of civilians, proactive measures of international organizations are needed. The countries of the European Union and NATO have an important role to play here. The international community must unite to show solidarity and determination to fight against aggression.

The shelling of Kharkiv on June 22, 2024, is a sign of the fragility of peace and the need for decisive action. This tragedy requires not only condemnation, but also concrete steps to protect civilians and bring those responsible to justice. The international community must unite in its efforts to stop the aggression and prevent further crimes against humanity.