However, reports about apartment buildings and kindergartens being shelled, civilians being killed, and rockets being found in residential streets have been trickling in since the beginning of the offensive.
Social media videos, photos and satellite images analyzed and geolocated by CNN confirm that on several occasions densely populated areas have been hit by Russian forces. CNN is reaching out to the Russian government for comment.
Amnesty International, in a press release on Friday, accused Russian forces of “indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on protected objects such as hospitals,” citing three examples, including an attack on Thursday near a hospital building in Vuhledar, in the eastern Donetsk region. That attack killed four civilians and wounded ten more, Amnesty reported.
Here are some examples CNN found.
Kindergarten in Okhtyrka, orphanage in Vorzel
A video circulating on social media which CNN geolocated to the kindergarten in Okhtyrka shows injured people covered in blood on the ground in front of the entrance.
“Today’s Russian attacks on a kindergarten and an orphanage are war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute,” Kuleba tweeted.
“Together with the General Prosecutor’s Office we are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable,” he added.
“As a result of heavy armor shelling of an orphanage in the town of Vorzel in the Kyiv region, 51 children are currently at risk of life and health, 3 of whom have severe health problems and 15 infants. Two buildings of the institution were damaged,” she said.
Rockets in Bucha and Kharkiv
CNN geolocated the video to a residential address in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv.
Experts and open source analysts are debating whether the rocket contained a cluster munition based on the footage.
Mark Hiznay, associate director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch told CNN the projectile is a cluster munition. Upon landing, the munition “will impact a wide area,” Hiznay explained and “send out 9mm bullets all over the place. Pretty nasty.”
Another explosive also landed in a residential area in Kharkiv, a city in northeast Ukraine.
Hiznay identified the weapon as a motor for a Smerch rocket and said it was likely no longer dangerous.
Chuhuiv apartment building
An apartment block in the eastern city of Chuhuiv, outside Kharkiv, was damaged in an attack on Thursday that Ukrainian officials attributed to Russian forces.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry listed Chuhuiv as one of the targets of the intensive shelling and strikes on the first day of the Russian offensive.
Maxar released new imagery of a nearby airport that was the likely target of the attack. In the images, it is possible to see damage to fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure.
News agencies such as Agence France-Presse and Anadolu released images that showed a resident of the Chuhuiv apartment building crying among the wreckage of the strike, an old woman wrapped in a blanket sitting outside and firefighters attending a fire inside the building.
At least one victim could be seen lying on the ground. Photos also showed a single large crater in the ground which hints at the use of a single missile or rocket for the attack, Amnesty said.
CNN has geolocated the site of the attack.
Russia says it’s not hitting Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Evidence suggests otherwise