Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed at least 549 civilians, 41 of whom were children, the United Nations said Thursday while noting that the actual death toll is believed to be “considerably higher.”
Another 957 civilians at the least have been injured in Ukraine since the Russian military invaded two weeks ago, according to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide
impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and
air strikes,” that office said.
“OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, especially in Government-controlled territory and especially in recent days,” the office said.
The report said that getting information from locations where “intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed.” Many reports “are still pending corroboration,” the UN office added.
“This concerns, for example, the towns of Volnovakha, Mariupol, Izium where there
are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties,” the office said, noting that its report did not include casualty statistics from those areas.
The report noted that the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has said that 61 children have been killed and another 100 injured.
The UN Human Rights Commissioner’s office said its statistics are based on information from “contact persons and partners in places where civilian casualties occurred.”
The report came as Ukrainian officials condemned a Russia airstrike on a children’s hospital in the port city of Mariupol as a war crime. Three people, one of them a child, were killed in the attack, which left other children trapped under rubble, officials said.
Russian forces have attacked medical facilities 18 times since the invasion began, according to the World Health Organization.