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INVESTIGATIONS

Investigation into attacks on public infrastructure in Zhytomyr

November 3, 2022

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Initial Summary

  • Location of incidents: Zhytomyr, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine
  • Sites affected: residential areas; District Boiler Building No. 6; the therapeutic building and the main building of the “Central City Hospital No. 2,” Maternity Ward Hospital; the building of the “Central City Hospital No. 1” (therapeutic, ophthalmology, and trauma departments) and Children’s City Hospital
  • Dates of attacks: 01 March 2022 and 09 March 2022
  • Reported victims: at least 2 killed and approximately 18 injured (including 7 children)
  • Type of attack: likely air strikes

Introduction

On the evenings of 01 March 2022 and 09 March 2022 civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, were damaged in two armed attacks on Zhytomyr, Ukraine. On-the-ground witnesses appearing in open source documentation claim the attacks were both Russian airstrikes. According to online reporting, due to the strikes’ proximity to densely populated areas in the city of Zhytomyr, multiple civilians were killed and over a dozen were wounded in the attacks. This investigation aims to examine open-source documentation to determine whether and how it either corroborates or refutes these assertions.

Methodology

This investigation examines open-source evidence pertaining to alleged attacks affecting critical public infrastructure, including medical facilities, in Zhytomyr Oblast in March 2022, during the second week of the so-called “Special Operation.” The authors have collected a variety of open sources for analysis. Ukrainian Archive analysed and verified these incidents by cross-referencing a combination of open-source visual content and public information. Specific methodologies are described in greater detail in the Methods section of Ukrainian Archive’s website.

This investigation was also undertaken with an awareness of the laws of armed conflict, which impose limits to how parties to a conflict may conduct hostilities and under which civilians and civilian objects – including in particular hospitals, medical personnel, and objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population – are protected. If proved, actions that violate these protections may constitute international crimes.

Through collection, verification, and reporting of the investigative findings from these incidents, the authors hope to preserve critical information that may be used for advocacy purposes or as evidence in future legal proceedings seeking accountability.

Data ethics

The authors have strived to incorporate a “risk minimisation” ethical framework into its processes. Due to the repeated targeting of hospitals, medical facilities, and medical personnel since 2014, particularly by Russian-backed DPR/LNR “people’s militias” and by Russian Federation armed forces, additional precautions and ethical issues were taken into consideration.

Mnemonic believes in transitional justice, as without accountability sustainable peace is very difficult to achieve. In order to help establish that digital content is what it purports to be, rigorous verification steps, informed by the Berkeley Protocol, must be taken to authenticate the material.

Background on the affected area

The Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr (Житомир) is located in the northwest part of Ukraine, roughly 130 kilometres west of the capital, Kyiv. The city is located several hundred kilometres from what was, at the time, considered an active combat zone (in the Donbas region). The city is a major transportation hub and, until 2022, had a population of about 263,000. According to documents received from the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Zhytomyr Oblast, 50 residential buildings had been destroyed and 264 had been damaged, while 37 civilians died and 69 had been injured due to the conflict in Zhytomyr Oblast during the period from 24 February 2022 to 02 August 2022.

gep 1

Location of the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr (Житомир) in the northwest part of Ukraine is shown above. The distance to the active combat zone at the time in the Donbas region was several hundred kilometres. Images source: Google Earth Pro

Zhytomyr City Hospital No. 2 and Maternity ward

The municipal enterprise Hospital No. 2, named after V.P. Pavlusenko of the Zhytomyr City Council, is a multidisciplinary specialised medical and preventive institution that provides secondary medical care to the population of Zhytomyr. The 24-hour hospital, which has approximately 305 beds, is located at the address: Zhytomyr, str. R. Shukhevicha.

According to open source information, Zhytomyr Regional Center for Maternal and Child Health has subdivisions:

  • Maternity ward No. 1
  • Maternity ward No. 2
  • Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
  • Clinical diagnostic laboratory
  • Department of newborns (Department of joint stay of mother and child)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Department of Extragenital and Obstetric Pathology
  • Center for Family Planning and Human Reproduction
  • Regional medical genetic consultation with a genetic laboratory

Since 2004, the international project “Maternal and Child Health” has been operating with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The facility offers individual and group consultations for pregnant women and family members in preparation for childbirth and parenthood.

In 2005, the Zhytomyr maternity hospital was recognized as the base institution for the introduction of modern perinatal technologies in Ukraine.

Central City Hospital No. 1 and Children’s City Hospital

According to open source information, the municipal enterprise “Hospital No. 1” of the Zhytomyr City Council is a multidisciplinary, specialised medical and preventive institution and provides secondary medical care to the population of Zhytomyr and the population of Zhytomyr region.

The medical facility provides medical care in the following fields: therapeutic surgical, infectious, skin-venerological, obstetrics-gynaecology.

The 24-hour inpatient facility has 485 beds, as well as 16 treatment and auxiliary diagnostic departments: therapeutic No. 1, therapeutic No. 2, surgical No. 1, surgical No. 2, trauma department with a 24-hour trauma centre, gynaecological, anesthesiology with intensive care beds, cardiology, maternity, observation, pregnancy pathology, anesthesiology with obstetric intensive care beds, uro-nephrology department, neurological department for patients with cerebral circulation disorders, ophthalmology with otolaryngology beds, infectious department.

The hospital is still functioning as of October 2022 according to the hospital website.

According to open source information, the Children’s City Hospital is located at a separate address. Before the war the hospital offered many services including infectious disease treatment, diagnostic services, endoscopy, urgent care, physical therapy, and surgery.

District Boiler Building No. 6

The water heating plant had been based in this building since 1975, when Ukraine was under Soviet control. It had recently been renovated with help from Switzerland in November 2021. According to the Zhytomyr City Council it was already providing heat to 73 multi-floor apartment buildings. The boilers were heated by burning the byproducts of the local timber industry, and were intended to be part of Ukraine’s shift away from natural gas.

What happened (and when)?

Location #1: The attack near Romana Shukhevych street

  • Location of incident: Zhytomyr, Romana Shukhevych street (approx. 50.28175, 28.61018)
  • Sites affected: residential area; the therapeutic building and the main building of the Communal Enterprise of the “Central City Hospital No. 2,” Maternity Ward Hospital
  • Date of attack: 01 March 2022
  • Time of attack (local time): approximately from 22:16 to 23:20, but no later than 23:30
  • Reported victims: at least 2 killed and approximately 16 injured civilians, including 7 children
  • Type of attack: at least one air strike

Summary of online reporting

On 01 March 2022, a Zhytomyr residential area was hit in an apparent air strike. The first report about the incident was made by local news outlet “Zhytomyr Info,” which published an emergency report at 00:04 hours local time on 02 March 2022.

An excerpt, translated into English, follows:

“In Zhytomyr, on the evening of March 1, an air-raid alarm sounded again at 10:16 p.m., and half an hour later - a strike.

Even in the shelters, Zhytomyr residents heard explosions, and then some saw the explosion in the Bohunia area.

At 11:30 p.m., the mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhiy Sukhomlin, reported that an aerial bomb had hit a residential building next to city hospital No. 2.

‘An aerial bomb just hit a residential building on Saburova Street next to our hospital №2 named after Pavlusenko. There were several bombs. The house was completely destroyed, all the windows and doors in the hospital were completely knocked out. We are clarifying the number of victims, firefighters, emergency services and everyone who cares about our city of Zhytomyr are working. There won’t be a peaceful night today,’ said the mayor of Zhytomyr.

He also posted a video of a burning house, recalling the words of the Russian attackers that they were ‘not fighting peaceful people.’”

Serhiy Sukhomlin, the mayor of Zhytomyr, made an oral statement seen in this YouTube video, published on 02 March 2022 at 00:06 hours local time, regarding the attack:

“A bomb just hit a residential building on Saburova Street, right next to the Pavlusenko City Hospital No.2. The windows of the hospital have been completely shattered. There were several bombs. The residential building was completely destroyed, while all the doors and windows of the hospital were broken and ripped off. We are determining casualty figures. Firefighters, rescuers, and civilian volunteers are working onsite. It is not a good night.”

Additionally, in this YouTube video published the next day, on 02 March 2022, at 10:13 hours local time, a witness described damage to the inside of the hospital, saying:

“This is the first floor, room 10, window open, in the hallway the windows and glass doors were blown out. Room 9, all the windows are busted open and broken, Room 8 windows are blown out, Room 7 also had its windows blown out, this whole side of the hallway had its windows blown out. The doctor’s office door is twisted shut and blocking the entrance. The windows have been completely blown out. There are no windows.”

In an Espreso.TV newscast published to YouTube on 02 March 2022, the reporters said that the rocket attack on Zhytomyr resulted in four people killed and 16 people wounded (including 7 children).

Suspilne.Info posted this article on 02 March 2022 at 00:06 hours local time with photos of the internal situation in Hospital No. 2. According to the article, on 01 March 2022, following an airstrike, seven children were admitted to the regional children’s hospital in Zhytomyr with various injuries. Correspondents from Suspilne visited the medical facility to inquire about the condition of hospitalised children.

According to the centre’s medical director, Viktor Hrynyov, on the evening of 01 March 2022, six teams from the emergency medical aid centre went to the site of the explosion from a rocket strike in the Bohunia neighbourhood in Zhytomyr and treated 16 people with various severity of injuries. Six of those treated were children, ranging in age from three to six years old. All of those treated were taken to the regional children’s hospital. Open source content described two of the children treated having broken arms, one having a concussion. Among those injured in the attack included 10 adults, two of whom were taken to the regional clinical hospital, and another seven to the first city hospital. One of those injured was treated for broken bones in the emergency room of City Hospital No. 2. 

In a statement made to the correspondents of Suspilne, the director of the regional children’s hospital, Yuriy Dovhopolyy, clarified that as of 11:00 hours local time on 02 March 2022 there were seven children victims of the attack hospitalised at the facility. One child was operated on, resulting in her condition improving. At the time the statement was made, it was indicated that the rest of the injured children were in stable condition.

On 03 March 2022, Zhytomyr Department of State Emergency Service of Ukraine published a video of the airstrike aftermath.

This incident was documented by the Zhytomyr Oblast Department of the National Police of Ukraine (also known as Zhytomyr Oblast Police). According to this emergency report, published on 02 March 2022 at 07:05 hours local time, a nighttime air strike hit a residential area and damaged a hospital. As of 07:00 hours local time on 02 March 2022, two people were confirmed dead and 16 were injured, according to the report.

The report describes twelve people who were rescued, including 6 children, pulled from the basements of heavily damaged private houses. The report includes three photographs and a video on an official YouTube channel of the Zhytomyr Oblast Police showing burning buildings, debris from blasts, and rescuers working at the site. 

On 03 March 2022, the Zhytomyr Oblast Police published another emergency report at 13:15 hours local time that describes investigative and operational groups of the National Security Service of Ukraine and the Zhytomyr district administration working at the site of the attack in which residential buildings and a city hospital in the regional centre were damaged on the evening of 01 March 2022. The report states that the circumstances and consequences of the attack were documented by the authorities.

Also, in addition to the emergency report, there was a video published on the official YouTube channel of the Zhytomyr Oblast Police on 03 March 2022 in which fragments of a munition can be seen. The screengrabs below are taken from that video.

munition 1

Piece of grey metal munition in cylindrical form with wires (Screenshot of YouTube video)

munition 2

Piece of grey metal munition, with black Russian-language writing which says “Directional Antenna” (Screenshot of YouTube video)

munition 3

Piece of grey metal munition. (Screenshot of YouTube video)

munition 4

Piece of grey metal munition with black Russian text “TsM Product” and marking below “TsM-S Bottom – 1 TPK” (Screenshot of YouTube video)

Geolocation

In available open source documentation, a large crater can be seen among the wreckage of what appear to be civilian homes. A video posted to YouTube on 04 March 2022 shows what appears to be a large crater located across the street from a yellow building with visible roof damage. Below is the relevant clip of the video that was geolocated by identifying the yellow building shown in satellite imagery.

Satellite imagery shows the yellow building after the attack with roof damage that appears to be approximately consistent with what is seen in the aftermath video above. Below is an annotated satellite image, acquired on 18 August 2022.

annotated yellow bldg sat image

Image credit: 2022 © Maxar Technologies

The building seen in the top left corner of the video (see screenshot below) has what appears to be roof damage, which appears to be consistent with the roof damage seen in the satellite imagery above.

still bldg yellow annotated

Below is an image of what the building likely looked like before the strike, according to a Google Street View image taken in May 2015.

gsv yellow bldg box

Ukrainian Archive was able to verify the location of the yellow building, given the distinctive structure of the neighbouring building seen in the attack aftermath video, the satellite image above, and the Google Street View image.

The image below is a screenshot of the attack aftermath video showing the corner of the neighbouring building annotated by a light blue box.

light blue box bldg bg

The image below is a satellite image dated 18 August 2022 showing the corner of the neighbouring building annotated by a light blue box.

maxar blue box this

Image credit: 2022 © Maxar Technologies

Below is the Google Street View image taken in May 2015 showing the corner of the neighbouring building annotated by a light blue box.

gsv light blue box

Chronolocation

To assess the timing of the strike, Ukrainian Archive examined the earliest upload times for available open source information and identified reports and claims about the attack timing. Due to limitations in available information and the fact that the strike happened after sunset, we were unable to conduct shadow analysis of footage documenting the attack or its near aftermath.

The earliest known report of the attack was a text post on Telegram, which was published at 22:56 hours local time. An excerpt, translated into English, of the text post follows:

“On March 1, at 10:16 p.m., an air alert was announced in Zhytomyr, which lasted until 10:42 p.m. The city was shelled. Several explosions were heard.

[…]

UPDATED

The mayor of Zhytomyr S. Sukhomlin announced during a live broadcast that the airstrike hit city hospital #2 and targeted a private house.

Windows are broken in the hospital. Firefighters are extinguishing the fire, no casualties have been reported at this time[.]”

Various sources claimed the attack happened no earlier than 22:16, and no later than 22:46 local time. The sources and their claims are listed below:

  • A local news report places the time of the attack during the air raid siren, which lasted from 22:16 and ended “half an hour later.” The next day the same news outlet reported that the attack occurred “shortly after 22:16.”
  • A national news outlet reported the following day that the blasts occurred at 22:30 local time.
  • Another Ukrainian news outlet also reported that the attack occurred at 22:30 local time.

Additionally, to further corroborate that the attack took place on 01 March 2022, Ukrainian Archive compared the first accessible satellite image of the area of interest after the attack with a satellite image of the area of interest before the attack. The image below shows a comparison between the area of interest on 12 June 2022 and the same area prior to the attack on 22 February 2022. Because of the long elapsed time period (over 100 days) between the date of the attack, 01 March 2022, and the date of capture of the “after” satellite imagery shown below, 12 June 2022, it is highly likely that people on the ground cleared away large amounts of debris caused by the attack. This comparison image is not meant to demonstrate the extent of the damage caused by the attack—since the area was likely altered between the day of the attack and the day of satellite image capture—but rather to further corroborate the timing of the attack.

Image credit: 2022 © Maxar Technologies

Damage

Damage to the nearby Central City Hospital No. 2 was attributed to the attack and documented in multiple videos, including in this video posted to YouTube on 04 March 2022 that shows what appear to be plywood boards covering the holes where windows used to be in the hospital. No major structural damage to the building could be seen in the visual media analysed.

The image below contains screenshots from the video of visible window damage at the hospital building.

hosp boarded up windows 2

Additionally, this video, posted to YouTube on 03 March 2022, shows a closer view of broken hospital windows. The below image shows the location of some of the broken windows.

The approximate location of the filmer is shown in the satellite image below marked by a red X. The satellite image was acquired on 18 August 2022.

red x maxar

Image credit: 2022 © Maxar Technologies

Below is a Google Street View image taken in May 2015 showing how the affected hospital building might have looked prior to the attack.

gsv prior to attach hosp

The distance between the residential neighbourhood that was hit by the strike and the hospital building that had its windows shattered is approximately 130 metres. The below satellite image shows an approximate measurement between those two locations.

maxar measure

Image credit: 2022 © Maxar Technologies

Ukrainian Archive noted extensive damage in residential areas reportedly linked to this attack, as can be seen in this video posted to YouTube. The image below shows a portion of the extent of the damage reportedly caused to residential areas.

Additionally, this video, posted to YouTube on 02 March 2022, shows a small crater, seen in the screenshot below. It remains unclear what caused the crater.

dark crater img

A similarly shaped and located crater appears in this video, posted to YouTube on 02 March 2022 at 02:59 hours local time by the Zhytomyr Oblast Police. It remains unclear if this is the same crater as the one shown above. What caused the crater also remains unknown.

green crater img

Munitions used

Due to limitations in available open source information, Ukrainian Archive was unable to identify the precise type of munition apparently used in the attack. Further in-depth research by weapons identifications and forensics experts of, among other information, the markings on the munition fragments featured in the videos reviewed could later point to a more specific munition or munition type.

Location #2: The attack near Velyka Berdychivska street

  • Location of incident: Zhytomyr, Velyka Berdychivska street (approx. 50.242058, 28.685967)
  • Sites affected: residential area; District Boiler Building No. 6; “Central City Hospital No. 1” (therapeutic department, ophthalmology department, trauma department) and Children’s city hospital buildings
  • Date of attack: 09 March 2022
  • Time of attack (local time): Evening, but no later than 8 p.m.
  • Reported victims: at least 2 civilians injured
  • Type of attack: at least one air strike

Summary of online reporting

The first report about the incident was made by local news outlet “Zhytomyr Info,” which published an emergency report at 20:21 hours local time on 09 March 2022 in which Zhytomyr Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlin provided the following statement:

“Another bomb attack was carried out, the heating utility company and one house were damaged. Virtually all the windows in hospital No. 1 and in the children’s hospital were broken. No one was injured in the hospitals, everyone was in bomb shelters. I even said that I will issue a certificate to the chief doctors tomorrow for such work. No one was hurt at the heating plant, but there is a problem, we may have to turn the plant off temporarily, which will affect heating in large swathes of the city. Teplokomunenergo will do everything to start up as soon as possible. There is a crater where the residential building used to be, a old woman lived there and surprisingly, according to the neighbors, after the explosion, she came out from somewhere, maybe she was in the cellar, she was slightly wounded, she was taken to the hospital. Thank God that she remained alive. Today I spoke with the military, they asked to turn off the lights on all the streets completely, because the aircraft (enemy, -ed.) has changed its tactics and flies very low. Let’s hold on, the night is young and there may be more to come. Russia understands that it will lose and will lose strategically, we can see from all the statements that they are surrendering positions, they are no longer demanding much of what they demanded before. We have to hold on, survive, and endure.”

Another report about the incident was made by the same local news outlet “Zhytomyr Info,” which published an emergency report at 16:28 hours local time on 10 March 2022 in which Zhytomyr Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlin said:

“Approximately 270 houses in the city are disconnected from heating. Teplokomunenergo and its specialists are doing everything to provide heat again. As they said, it takes about 7 days, maybe a little less. That’s why we hold on. The temperature will rise to +8 in 2-3 days, I think we can manage in 4-5 days, the situation is like this. Yesterday there was another attack near Teterivka. Clearly a bomb went off, I even have the remnants of the bomb in my office, it went into the water pipe that supplies the city with water. Everything is fine there, there was a small accident and it was already fixed. The city will have water, but we see that they are actually hitting infrastructure facilities.”

In a video posted to YouTube on 10 March 2022 at 16:30 hours local time, Zhytomyr Major Serhiy Sukhomlyn showed the remnants of a munition found in the place of the airstrike impact. The news report, which plays over footage of Sukhomlyn handling a round piece metal, stated that “The mayor showed a fragment of a bomb which damaged a water line.” 

Two days after the incident, the media outlet “Suspilne Media” published a news article relevant to the incident and interviewed the Director of Zhytomyr City Hospital No. 1. According to the article, the urology and trauma departments, where patients were receiving medical care, were damaged. (Patients, alerted by an air raid siren, took shelter in time and were apparently not present in the departments at the time of the attack.) The windows of the ophthalmology department were damaged. The patients were in shelters, so there were no victims among them. The article describes that after the incident, people arrived at the hospital from the street and asked if hospital staff required assistance in rebuilding the hospital.

“The hospital is working, the maternity, surgical, and reception departments are working. All doctors are in place, nurses are in place. The hospital is ready to provide assistance to the civilians of Zhytomyr and, if necessary, to the military,” the hospital director, Andriy Volkov, said.

According to a report published on 10 March 2022 at 09:37 hours local time by the Zhytomyr Oblast Police, two people from Zhytomyr were injured in the attack the previous night.

Geolocation

In a video uploaded to YouTube on 09 March 2022 at 21:13 hours local time, a fixed-wing aircraft appears flying overhead – a portion of the same video is also seen in this Telegram video, published roughly two hours later at 23:09 hours local time by Telegram user “zhytomyr_operative.” Several seconds later into the video loud cracks and explosions can be heard, as smoke and explosions can be observed in at least two places. The commentary is largely emotive, but the speaker says that “the bridge” (0:30) and Muzykalka (local music college) have been hit. The only river in the city is the Teteriv, and there are just two bridges across it: the Pedestrian Suspension Bridge (locally referred to as the “Lovers’ Bridge”) and the Berdychivskyi Bridge, which is a beam bridge over which the M21 Highway crosses the Teteriv River. The suspension bridge has hallmark suspension cables and superstructure, which are not visible in the clip. Furthermore, the topography around the suspension bridge does not match the terrain seen in the video, nor is Muzykalka visible from anywhere in that vicinity, indicating that the speaker is most likely referring to the Berdychivskyi Bridge.

There are two main points of reference in the video: a smokestack (annotated by an orange box) and a tower supporting electrical lines (annotated by a green box), shown below.

dual eug

The only smokestacks in Zhytomyr situated next to a bridge are those of the District Boiler Building No. 6, a heating utility. The power line tower is also significant because it is a very large structure, supporting what appear to be six separate cables. Such towers are used to suspend cables over long distances, such as between cities and towns; therefore, they are distinctive in their shape from the surrounding municipal electrical infrastructure. Additionally, the size of both the smokestack and the power line tower make them visible in satellite imagery. The locations are indicated in the images below using the same colour coding scheme.

big eug

When plotted on a satellite image of the relevant part of the city, the locations found above appear to match their positions in relation to the Berdychivskyi bridge (red), Muzykalka (blue), the power line tower (green), District Boiler Building No. 6 (orange), and the City Hospital No. 1 (purple). The yellow line signifies the approximate line of sight in the video.

los

Chronolocation

To assess the timing of the strike, Ukrainian Archive examined the earliest upload times for available open source information and identified reports and claims about the attack timing. Due to limitations in available information and the fact that the strike happened after sunset, we were unable to conduct shadow analysis of footage documenting the attack or its near aftermath.

The earliest known report of the attack was from a local news outlet, which published its report at 20:21 hours local time on 09 March 2022.

While no sources cite a specific time for the attack, an approximate time can be deduced given the following:

  • The earliest report of the attack quotes the mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhiy Sukhmlyn, saying that the attack “just occurred,” placing the attack before 20:21 local time.
  • A video of the airstrike shows the attack happening during what appears to be the evening twilight hours (between sunset and dusk), which according to astronomical data suggests that the video of the attack was filmed between 18:01 (sunset) and 18:33 (dusk) local time.

Damage

Video footage shows a crater reported to have been caused by the attack on 09 March 2022 in Zhytomyr. A screengrab from the video is shown below:

dark mud

In the report, the mayor of Zhytomyr stated that a boiler building was hit and damaged, while a hospital suffered minor damage. Footage of broken windows, allegedly from the attack, was aired two days later on Suspilne Zhytomyr. A news report published on 11 March 2022 shows damage to City Hospital No. 1, and includes interviews with staff and patients.

The boiler building – or heating plant – served 73 high-rise apartment buildings when it opened, which according to the mayor of Zhytomyr affected 30% of the buildings in the city. In 2017 Zhytomyr had a population of 266,000. More specifically, the heating plant served high-rises, while much of Zhytomyr is single-story family homes. Given these factors, it is possible that 30% of the population could have been affected, or approximately 79,000 people. However, given the lack of data on how many people fled Zhytomyr after the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022, the actual number of people affected is impossible to ascertain. No information on the current status of the heating plant is available.

Munitions used

A video shows a single fixed-wing military aircraft flying over Zhytomyr. Several seconds later explosions can be seen, immediately followed by loud bangs. A video also shows the mayor of Zhytomyr holding what is described as a fragment from one of the bombs dropped on Zhytomyr. 

Given the footage of the aircraft carrying out an attack on the city, the attack was likely carried out using at least one air-dropped munition. The exact number of munitions is unclear.

Victims of the attacks

According to available open source information, at least 2 people were killed and approximately 18 people were injured in these two incidents combined. The 01 March attack reportedly killed at least 2 people and injured an estimated 16 civilians, including 7 children. The 09 March attack reportedly injured at least 2 civilians.

Resulting damage

Public infrastructure, including hospitals, sustained damage in both the 01 March 2022 attack and the 09 March 2022 attack. According to official documents provided to Ukrainian Archive by the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Zhytomyr Oblast, both Central City Hospital No. 2 and Central City Hospital No. 1 sustained damage in the attacks, including broken windows.

Potentially responsible

While witness statements offered in the collected materials claim these attacks were carried out by Russian armed forces, these claims cannot be independently verified given limitations to available open source information. Online searching did not yield any statements by the Russian government or military representatives regarding attacks on Zhytomyr during the relevant timeframe. Ukrainian Archive found no information indicating that Ukrainian armed forces were responsible for these attacks on territory held by their own government.

Conclusion

Online open source information documents two attacks, one on 01 March 2022 and one on 09 March 2022, resulting in damage to critical civilian infrastructure via air strikes. Available information also claims that at least 2 people were killed and approximately 18 people (including 7 children) were injured in these two incidents.


This investigation was produced in connection with Ukrainian Archive’s side event to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 51st session, coordinated together with Syrian Archive, another Mnemonic archival programme.

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