About 1,000 boys and girls have been registered as killed or injured in Russia’s full-scale military operation against war-torn Ukraine, as per the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office mentioned in the statement on Tuesday that Russia’s war has killed at least 374 children as well as injured 723 since the Russian invasion on 24 February, with the largest number of child death being recorded in Donetsk Oblast, where about 388 children have either been killed or injured.
The UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell stated, “As in all wars, the reckless decisions of adults are putting children at extreme risk. There are no armed operations of suct type that do not result in young one being harmed.”
The total official tally, as per the Prosecutor General’s office, currently sits at 1,097 children, while UNICEF has verified that at least 972 children have been killed or injured by the violence. This amounts to over five young ones a day on average.
Russell highlighted, “But we believe the real number to be much higher.”
The Prosecutor General and UNICEF cautioned the real figures are likely much higher, as official numbers on casualties do not include those in the Russian-occupied areas and near the front line.
Along with this, the head of UNICEF stressed that these figures once again underscore the urgent need for peace in the region. Some 9,000 Ukrainians have been killed in the Russo-Ukrainian war, according to Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
According to Russell, most children deaths resulted from the use of explosive weapons, which “do not discriminate between civilian as well as combatant”, mainly in populated locations, as has been the case in cities such as Mariupol Luhansk, Kremenchuk, Vinnytsia, and elsewhere.
Apart from the physical injuries, almost every child in the war torn Ukraine has been exposed to deeply distressing events. At the same time, those fleeing violence are at risk of family separation, abuse, sexual exploitation, further attacks, as well as trafficking.