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More Than 500 Ukrainian Children Killed Or Injured Since Russia Invaded, Ukraine’s Prosecutor’s Office Says

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More than 500 children have been killed or injured since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago, Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, while the United Nations’ children’s agency Unicef said more than 5 million have been displaced amid an escalating humanitarian crisis and reports of alleged war crimes by Russia.

More than 500 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine, the country’s prosecutor’s office … [+] said.

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

At least 186 children have been confirmed killed in Ukraine and 344 injured since the launch of Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office said.

The figure, which has not been independently verified, is higher than the number of deaths verified by the UN, which stands at 142 children killed and nearly 230 injured, though on Monday Unicef emergency programs director Manuel Fontaine said “the true figures are most certainly much higher given the scale of attacks.”

Fontaine said a total of 4.8 million Ukrainian children have been displaced over the past six weeks, around two thirds of the estimated 7.5 million children that lived in Ukraine before the war.

Of these, Fontaine said 2.8 million children are in Ukraine and 2 million have fled to other countries, and nearly half of the children remaining in their homes are at risk of not having enough food.

Fontaine said attacks on water and power infrastructure in Ukraine have left millions of children with limited or no access to water, with the situation “even worse in cities like Mariupol and Kherson, where children and their families have now gone weeks” without running water, sanitation services, regular food supplies and medical care.

Around 4.62 million refugees have fled Ukraine and more than 7.1 million have been displaced within the country since February 24, according to UN data.

Crucial Quote
Fontaine, who had just returned from Ukraine, described the situation as “quite incredible.” In his 31 years as a humanitarian, he said he had not seen such a fast displacement of so many children. “They have been forced to leave everything behind: Their homes, their schools, and often, their family members,” Fontaine said, describing the “desperate steps parents are taking to get their children to safety.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, accused Russia of taking over 120,000 Ukrainian children out of the country. The majority were removed from the besieged port city of Mariupol and taken to Russia, Kyslytsya alleged, who said Russia drafted a bill to accelerate adoption procedures. The reports have not been independently verified and follow multiple accusations of Russia forcibly relocating Ukrainian citizens to its territory. Moscow denies the allegations.

Key Background
Russia has faced many accusations of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and other atrocities committed by its forces in Ukraine. The West, Ukraine and international humanitarian organizations have condemned Russia’s alleged targeting of civilians—including hospitals, schools, shelters and humanitarian corridors—and evidence of executed and tortured civilians in areas it has occupied like Bucha. At least 57 people were killed, including five children, and 109 injured on Friday after a Russian missile strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk, which was used to evacuate civilians. The incident accelerated a concerted effort across Europe to expel Russian diplomats and implement new sanctions. Russia denies the atrocities and accuses Ukraine and the West of fabricating claims. Moscow has not provided evidence to back its allegations that reports are fictitious.

Big Number
6,036. That’s how many registered crimes of aggression and war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine since it launched the invasion, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office. These cover breaking the laws and customs of war—which forbid targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure—propaganda and planning, preparing or waging an aggressive war. The agency said there are 501 suspects driving the aggression, including Russian ministers, deputies, military command, officials and the heads of law enforcement agencies.

Further Reading
‘It’s not the end’: The children who survived Bucha’s horror (AP News)

Death Toll Rises To At Least 50 After Russia Strikes Train Station In Eastern Ukraine, Official Says (Forbes)

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