Practice Relating to Rule 37. Open Towns and Non-Defended Localities
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“Non-defended localities” means any locality or inhabited place near or in a zone where armed forces are in contact which is open for occupation by an adverse Party.
All military objectives must be evacuated from a non-defended locality. Acts of hostility in such localities shall be prohibited.
Unlike demilitarized zones (created by mutual consent of the parties to the armed conflict), non-defended localities may be established by a unilateral declaration which shall be addressed to the adverse party (the latter shall acknowledge the receipt of such declaration).
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks against or hostilities within non-defended localities … shall be prohibited”.