The Prosecutor General of Ukraine announced that so far at least 349 children have been killed and more than 652 have been injured since the outbreak of the invasion.
The numbers, though startling, do not provide a clear picture on how much damage has been done to children by this war, said the Prosecutor’s Office, as Ukraine does not have clear information about injuries and deaths in the areas that remain under Russian occupation.
Children have been particularly hurt by the outbreak of the war as a refugee crisis has forced millions to flee their homeland. More than 8.8 million refugees have since left Ukraine and estimates of internally displaced persons (IDP) is roughly 7.7 million.
On Thursday, in a talk in Vinnytsia, a girl was killed and her mother was struck when Russia fired missiles into their city. The mother remains in critical condition and initial reports indicated that she was on life support. The story generated a great deal of press attention as photos of the dead girl rapidly spread online. The mother had posted a video of the duo walking together, with the girl pushing her stroller, only shortly before they were struck down by the Russian attack.
Afshan Khan, the regional director of Unicef, has commented earlier that “I would say every single child in Ukraine, their lives have been touched by this war. They’ve either lost a family member or they have either witnessed trauma themselves.” Khan honed in on the observation that since “two-thirds of the children in the country on the move, we cannot say that a single child’s life has not been touched.”
On Monday, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was quoted as having said that “In view of the ongoing war in Ukraine, including violations against civilians, including children, because of the high intensity of this conflict, this situation will be added as a situation of concern with immediate effect and will be included in my next report,” referencing the annual global report, Children and Armed Conflict, which reports verified incidences of crimes against children, including sex crimes, kidnapping, and other human rights violations.
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