The number of children who are known to have died as a result of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has now reached unbelievable levels. As at the end of March the deaths of 501 Ukrainian children have been recorded.

The figure was released by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which has been documenting civilian casualties in Ukraine since 2014.

The news is part of the UN agency’s latest update which showed that Ukraine suffered a total of 765 civilian casualties during March 2023, which included 178 deaths and 587 injuries. During this month alone, eight children were killed and 27 injured, primarily from artillery fire, mines and explosive remnants.

During the period from the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 2022 to Apr. 2 this year, the OHCHR has identified a total of 22,607 civilian casualties which included 8,451 deaths and 14,156 injuries.


“These figures are just the tip of the iceberg,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk. “Most of these casualties resulted from the use of wide-impact explosive weaponry in residential neighbourhoods by Russian forces.”

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council last Friday, he said international law is being violated daily, adding that OHCHR has documented crimes such as summary executions, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and other grave violations.

It should be noted that the UN believes actual casualties are
“considerably higher” and that these totals will increase as it collects and verifies further information from the occupied territories. It identified Mariupol, Lysychansk, Popasna and Sievierodonetsk as places where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.

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 Ukraine’s Presidential Commissioner for Children and Children’s Rehabilitation, Daria Herasymchuk, has been contacted for comment on the casualty figures and information relating to the Ukrainian government’s priorities for rehabilitation of injured civilians.

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