Coat of arms

Deputy Chair, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Senator for South Australia

11 July 2024

Statement on Russia’s Callous Attack on a Ukrainian Children’s Hospital

I strongly condemn the callous targeting of a children’s hospital in Kyiv by Russia this week.

Unless such facilities are being used by combatants for military purposes, deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure is a mode of warfare specifically prohibited under international humanitarian law and is listed as a war crime.

Amongst other indiscriminate weapons, Russia uses long range, precision-guided, and hypersonic weapons to specifically kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure hundreds of kilometres from the front line, where no military objectives are present.

Russia has embarked on an illegal war of territorial expansion and annexation. It is not acting in self-defence—and unlike some other conflicts, there is no use of human shields in Kyiv or anywhere else by Ukrainian military forces that could plausibly justify such attacks.

Mr Putin and his forces already stand accused of war crimes, but the deliberate targeting of a children’s hospital is a new low for Russia’s illegal war strategy.

Russia must be condemned for this act in the strongest possible terms and held to account in any viable manner.

Australia should start by expelling the Russian Ambassador and where possible, sanction entities and individuals in other nations who enable this war to continue through the provision of dual-use technology and materials.


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