SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: July 06, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Institution(s):H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University

Region & Country:Europe | Ukraine

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 6, 2022, Russian forces carried out a missile strike that hit the H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University in Kharkiv and reportedly killed a campus security guard.

In a speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the university’s main building, lecture halls, university museum, and scientific library were destroyed in the attack.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the military targeting of university facilities in armed conflict. Parties to a conflict may only attack legitimate military targets; where a party suspects that a civilian facility — such as a university building — is being used for military purposes, that party has a duty to take every action practicable to verify that this suspicion is correct before initiating an attack. In the event of such an attack, parties must take all practicable precautions to avoid or minimize damage to civilian facilities. Further, parties must refrain from launching attacks which may be expected to cause disproportionate damage to civilian facilities.