Graveyard of dead Russian missiles evidence of massive destruction in Ukraine

The remains of rockets and missiles have been gathered since the beginning of the Russian attacks.
Baba Tamim
More than 1000 missiles and rockets fired by Russian forces collected are seen at a cataloging depot on December 18, 2022, in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
More than 1000 missiles and rockets fired by Russian forces collected are seen at a cataloging depot on December 18, 2022, in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images 

There is a strange new graveyard in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv that serves as a testament to the destruction caused by war.

The graveyard, which holds more than a thousand dead Russian rockets, is aimed to help prosecutors invoke international criminal law against Russian troops, according to multiple media reports on Saturday. 

"These are pieces of evidence that an International Criminal Court [ICC] would use," said Dmytro Chubenko, spokesman for the Kharkiv region's Prosecutor Office. 

The graveyard captured by wire agencies' drone images, which show rows of blue-tinged cylinders arranged in accordance with their sizes, creating a magnificent but startling appearance from above, has gone viral.

Graveyard of dead Russian missiles evidence of massive destruction in Ukraine
An aerial view of the remnants of missiles and shells lie collected on the site of the State Emergency Service on December 6, 2022, in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

These photographs shot in December depict a collection of rocket shells and missile fragments that were used by the Russian army to strike Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine.

They have been gathered since the initial Russian attacks earlier this year, and after some time, they have been sorted by type, according to Chubenko. 

Ukrainian officials are optimistic that this evidence can help in any prosecution cases involving Russian officials and the military. They might even end up in a museum that showcases the atrocities that occurred in the country.

The region has been left with no electricity after the latest attacks on Friday targeting energy installations in the country. 

Case for ICC 

Buildings in places like Saltivka suffered considerable damage during the summer, with some becoming charred and others collapsing.

These missiles targeted significant residential areas, including North Saltivka and Oleksiivka. In addition, the authorities estimate that at least 1,700 people, including 44 children, were killed by shelling in Kharkiv and its vicinity.

Anna, who chose not to disclose her last name for security reasons fled the region months ago, said, "we have lost everything, and it is not clear at all what we can expect in the future." Euronews reported quoting the former resident of North Saltivka on Friday. 

"There is no heating in my house, [and] unfortunately, there won't be until the end of the winter," said Ihor Deshpetko, 44, who still lives in Kharkiv.

The missiles and rockets will be kept back in the missile graveyard for as long as required so that any expert or prosecutor may extract the data required to use the rockets as evidence against Russia, as per Chubenko. 

"I don't know what will happen next," he said. "Maybe we will make a museum."

In the meantime, the Dutch government has announced fresh aid for Ukraine.

$2.6 billion aid for Ukraine -2023

Large-scale aid for Ukraine was announced by the Dutch government on Friday. The European state revealed €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion) aid budget for Ukraine for the following year.

"As long as Russia continues its war against Ukraine, NL will provide assistance to Ukraine. Military, humanitarian and diplomatic," Tweeted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

"We're allocating €2.5 bn for this in 2023. Ukraine can rely on the Netherlands. We just confirmed this in our conversation with @ZelenskyyUa."

Hague anticipates the funds to be used for assistance with repairs, military, and efforts to hold war criminals accountable.

Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian president, urged his nation's citizens to endure despite Russian aggression as they celebrated a Christmas marred by conflict.

“We endured at the beginning of the war – we withstood attacks, threats, nuclear blackmail, terror, missile strikes,” Zelenskyy said in the video address on the eve of Christmas.

“We will endure this winter because we know what we are fighting for.”

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