Related Rule
Russian Federation
Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
While getting military units ready for combat operations and controlling them during hostilities commanders shall be guided by the principles of international humanitarian law: the principles of legality, distinction, proportionality, humanity and military necessity.
The principle of distinction means making distinction, under any circumstances, between the civilian population and servicemen, as well as between civilian objects and military objectives, which helps ensure protection of civilian persons and objects during combat operations and concentrate the force’s effort against the enemy military objectives. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 17.
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
when carrying out an assigned mission, weapons should be used only against the adversary and its military objectives;
persons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (nor prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
[P]ersons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (not prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
The Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation considers that while there are no clear-cut criteria of distinction between military objectives and civilian objects, the relevant military instructions refer to the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects and the protection of these objects. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
In 2008, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated: “The United Nations must rapidly and effectively respond to incidents of … the destruction of civilian facilities during armed conflict.” 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 5898th meeting, 27 May 2008.
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated:
[W]e are deeply concerned about the escalation of the crisis in Gaza as a result of Israel’s military operation … [and] the destruction of infrastructure, including United Nations schools … from Israeli fire. Those actions are absolutely inappropriate and are flagrant violations of international law. 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 6066th meeting, 14 January 2009.
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
113. War-ships shall not destroy any enemy civil ships or otherwise divert it from its destination, except for the following cases:
- the vessel refuses to stop after it was requested to do so, or
- the vessel resists a visit.
Prior to using force against a civil vessel the war-ship shall provide for the security of passengers and crew, of the documents and papers, unless the war-ship is in danger of being sunk by an enemy war-ship, escort ship or aircraft.
114. Destruction of the enemy passenger vessels carrying only civilians is prohibited at sea. For the safety of the passengers, such vessels shall be diverted to an appropriate area or port in order to complete capture. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, §§ 113–114.