KHARKIV, UKRAINE, Feb 13 — The Russian attack on the oil depot on February 9 contaminated more than 10,000 square meters of land, the head of the National Police Investigation Department, Serhii Bolvinov, told Gwara Media.

There is information that the oil depot’s damage caused a diesel and petrol leak. The base stored more than 3,800 tons of fuel. In addition to contaminating the land, oil products also got into the Nemyshlia River.

According to Bolvinov, on February 12, the police contacted the State Ecological Inspection in Kharkiv Oblast, which had already taken soil and water samples at the contamination sites.

“Unfortunately, this is a tragedy for the whole of Kharkiv and the oblast — a family of five and two elderly people were killed. [This is immense loss.] Russia deliberately destroyed, killed, and burned alive these victims. Of course, the attack on the oil depot resulted in a fuel leak and contamination of large areas of land,” Bolvinov said.

Read more: Russian Drone Attack Caused Massive Fire in Kharkiv, Killing Seven

This case is a violation of the laws of war, the investigator said. Police are checking the information about the damage caused by land and water pollution during the pre-trial examination. They are considering registering proceedings under the article on ecocide.

What is known about the shelling of Kharkiv on February 9

On February 9, at about 10:46 p.m., the Russian army shelled an oil depot in the Nemyshlianskyi district of Kharkiv with Shahed kamikaze drones. The fire burned down 15 private houses to the ground.

Seven people died. Rescuers found the charred bodies of a family in a private house: a husband, wife, and their three children: boys aged ten months, four years, and seven years. 

A 66-year-old man and his 65-year-old wife died in another house.There is information that the Russian army launched at least ten unmanned aerial vehicles [for this attack] from the territory of the Belgorod Oblast of Russia.