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  • Writer's pictureCIR

Targeting Severodonetsk: The relentless attacks on civilian infrastructure through six case studies

By Eman El-Sherbiny

The city of Severodonetsk, located in Ukraine’s industrial heartland, has faced a brutal and systematic attack on its civilian infrastructure. The Centre for Information Resilience’s (CIR) Eyes on Russia team have analysed and verified footage and imagery from social media, local, and international news media, showing the onslaught of the city.

Figure 1: Severodonetsk and Lysychans’k in relation to Kyiv and Russia.

This investigation delves into the continued bombardment of Severodonetsk from the start of the conflict until its occupation by Russian forces on 24 June 2022. During this period, according to local sources, 90% of the civilian infrastructure in the city was destroyed by airstrikes[1] and only 10,000 people remained in the city.[2] This includes residential buildings, commercial areas, industrial sites, religious buildings, medical centres, and the remaining bridge out of the city.

The targeting of civilian infrastructure is breach of international law,[3] and could constitute a war crime.

Figure 2: A map of the verified damage to civilian and administrative infrastructure which Eyes on Russia documented from April till 18 June 2022.

Using open-source investigative techniques, CIR investigators have provided six case-studies to show the destruction of a number of these sites. This investigation also revealed evidence of the expansion of a local cemetery, demonstrating the human toll of these attacks on the city.

Download the full report here:

Targeting Severodonetsk
Download PDF • 967KB

[1] Andrew Hilliar (31 May 2022). Available at: [2] Illia Ponomarenko (30 June 2022). Available at: [3] ICRC IHL Database, Available at:



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