On February 24, 2022 Russia commenced a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, conducting attacks that have caused civilian deaths and injuries, and damage to civilian buildings, including hospitals, schools, and homes. There have been indiscriminate attacks in violation of the laws of war that may amount to war crimes. By the end of the first week of hostilities, over a million people in Ukraine had fled their homes, many seeking refuge outside Ukraine. The full-scale military assault follows eight years of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine that killed thousands, many of them civilians, displaced 1.5 million people, and had already taken a high toll on civilians in the region, from threatening their physical security to interfering with access to food, medicine, education, and adequate housing. The international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine is governed by international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, which apply to all parties. All parties to the armed conflict have obligations to distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants, and to take precautions to protect civilians and other non-combatants from the hazards of war.

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