Arthur Greene

Russian forces have begun targeting Ukrainian citizens, launching missile strikes into residential areas while its armies lay siege to cities across the country.

The International Criminal Court launched its investigation into war crimes committed by Vladimir Putin’s forces on Thursday, as evidence mounts of atrocities being carried out in Ukraine.

The ICC has sent an “advanced team of investigators” to Ukraine, according to the ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan, to gather evidence of genocide and possible crimes against humanity.

There is mounting evidence that the Russian military has begun using increasingly powerful weapons as it struggles to overcome fierce resistance from the populace.

Video footage obtained by investigative news website Bellingcat shows use of powerful cluster bombs in areas close to schools and hospitals in Kharkiv and other Russian cities.

Cluster munitions are considered so dangerous to civilians that they have been banned by over 100 states. However, neither Russia nor Ukraine signed the agreement to outlaw them.

The government in the country’s capital Kyiv has stated that the invading forces have begun attacking civilians in an attempt to demoralise them and convince them to surrender.

While strikes continue to lay waste to cities across the country, Russian forces are also laying siege to them in an effort to prevent essential supplies getting inside.

The southern port city of Mariupol has been surrounded by the Russian army since Thursday. It is under constant bombardment from artillery and all supplies of food, water, electricity, heating and transport have been cut off.

Meanwhile, the city of Konotop has also been engulfed by invading forces. Its mayor, Artem Semenikhin, gathered the city’s residents for an outdoor meeting and told them: “They have given us an ultimatum. If we start resisting, they’ll wipe out the town using artillery.

“If you are for it, we’ll fight. Who votes to fight?”

As the wider world has come to understand, the people of Ukraine only have one answer to that question.

Video source: @VeraMBergen