Russian Military in Ukraine

A member of the Ukrainian Emergency Service looks at the City Hall building in the central square following shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Dorogoy)

On February 24th 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine using artillery shelling, airstrikes and ground attacks. Attempts to occupy areas of Ukraine were challenged by the Ukrainian counter-offensive, which saw Ukrainian forces reclaim Chernihiv, Kyiv, Sumy, Zhytomyr and Mykolaiv regions within the first year of the conflict.

While Russian military action was documented across the whole of Ukraine, including from the western Lviv region to the southern Odessa region, the oblasts bordering with Russia have seen the most intense fighting.

This includes Kharkiv Oblast, where Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, is located, on Russia’s westernmost border. Several weeks into the invasion, Russian forces had reportedly occupied dozens of cities and villages in the region, including Izyum, Kupiansk and Balaklia.

This resource presents Airwars’ documentation of civilian harm in Kharkiv oblast from the first allegation of harm recorded on February 24th 2022, to May 13th when Russian forces were pushed from the surroundings of Kharkiv city following a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The full human toll of the war remains disputed and may take years to assess. This archive is intended to aid those efforts, while providing a window into how Kharkiv residents documented civilian casualties in one of the war’s most intense battle periods.

Number of Open Source Claims Archived
Length of Battle of Kharkiv
Alleged civilian casualty incidents assessed

Civilian Infrastructure

This section compiles all instances of civilian harm where damage or destruction to specific civilian infrastructure has also been reported. Incidents where civilian infrastructure has been hit without any mention to civilians harmed have not been tracked.

Civilian Infrastructure

Healthcare facility

15 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure


13 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure

Power Station

6 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure

Gas facility

11 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure


5 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure

Humanitarian aid distribution

3 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure

Religious Institution

1 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure

Water station

2 incidents

Civilian Infrastructure


6 incidents

Deaths & Injuries

This section allows users to search all incidents where either women, children or men were allegedly killed or injured, in cases where the identity of the victim was reported by the sources.


39 incidents where Children were killed or injured


67 incidents where Women were killed or injured


70 incidents where Men were killed or injured

Airwars estimate of civilian deaths


Locally reported civilian deaths from declared or likely Russian Military actions in Ukraine for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by the Russian Military. These originate from 138 separate alleged incidents.

30–33 children likely killed
51 women likely killed
471–694 likely injured
61 named victims

Russian Military estimate of civilian deaths


Confirmed civilian deaths, from Russian Military actions in Ukraine, originating from 0 separate incidents of civilian harm.

0 civilians confirmed injured

Alleged deaths 323–432

Locally reported civilian deaths from Russian Military actions in Ukraine.

200 separate alleged incidents

Confirmed or fair
Confirmed: A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
Fair: Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by the Russian Military.

138 separate alleged incidents

Weak: Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Weak.

60 separate alleged incidents

Contested: Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting is assessed by Airwars as Contested.

2 separate alleged incidents

Discounted: Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.

Civilian deaths were Discounted by Airwars after assessment.

0 separate alleged incidents