An independent human rights group issued a special statement on the gravest violations Russian have committed in Syria since the beginning of the 2018 World Cup it is currently hosting. It noted that by hosting the tournament, Russia is seeking to present itself as a civilized country spreading love and joy among the countries of the world through hosting the World Cup.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Russian forces have killed 71 civilians, including 20 children and nine women since the start of the World Cup on June 10. Russia has also committed at least eight massacres and attacked 14 vital civilian centers, including five healthcare facilities since June 10.
According to figures compiled by the monitoring group, Russian forces used incendiary munitions, an internationally prohibited weapon, in two attacks on populated areas. The violations and the bombardment caused the displacement of nearly 270,000 civilians, most of them in Dara’a province. The Network said that Russia reneged on all agreements it reached with residents of these areas.
“As the opening ceremony of the World Cup kicked off, and while the attention of the world was on the opening game of the Russian team, Russian forces were preparing to launch a barbaric attack on the Syrian south. The onslaught on southern Syria came despite that the region was covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement concluded by Russia itself. Russia violated the agreement just as it did in others areas across Syria.”
The Network called on journalists and rights activists around the world to highlight the crimes the Russian forces have been committing in Syria since the start of the World Cup and to re-emphasize that the host country has killed thousands of civilians in Syria.
The statement noted that Russia has killed at least 6,187 Syrian civilians since the start of its aggression on Syria, including 1771 children and 670 women. The victims were documented in the Network’s database with all the details such as the date and place of the attacks as well as photos and videos. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)