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UN 'Appalled' Over Increase In Civilian Casualties In Ukraine War

11.04.2024 18:42

'It is particularly disturbing that at least 57 children were killed or injured in March alone, doubling number from February,' says UN official.

The UN on Thursday strongly denounced Russia's continued attacks on Ukraine, citing increased civilian casualties.

"We are appalled by the increase in civilian casualties as a result of these relentless attacks," Miroslav Jenca, UN assistant secretary-general for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, said at a UN Security Council meeting

Noting Russia's continued attacks on Ukraine as a "blatant violation of the UN Charter and international law," Jenca said "Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and towns have become a daily destructive pattern. These include intense and systematic targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure across the country."

Citing the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHA), Jenca said March witnessed a 20% increase in civilian deaths and injuries compared to the previous month, with at least 126 civilians killed and 478 injured.

"It is particularly disturbing that at least 57 children were killed or injured in March alone, doubling the number from February," he added.

Jenca said, "10,810 civilians killed, including 600 children, and 20,556 civilians injured, among which 1,357 were children" since February 2022, according to OCHA records.

Noting that Russia's war on Ukraine took a dire turn when Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, came under attack while under Russian military occupation, Jenca said, "According to the director of general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, these attacks represent a serious threat to nuclear safety and security."

The UN official stressed that no one stands to gain from targeting nuclear facilities, emphasizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of such actions.

"Instead, the consequences of a nuclear accident, whether intentional or not, could be catastrophic," warned Jenca.

Edem Wosornu, director of operations and advocacy division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), also told the Security Council that Ukraine is enduring some of the worst attacks since the war began.

"Not a day passes without air strikes shattering the lives of yet more families across the country," she said.

Wosornu noted that the conflict has displaced an estimated 10 million people, while more than 1,700 attacks on health care facilities and personnel have severely hampered medical services.

She also noted that more than 1,000 educational facilities have been damaged, disrupting the education of millions of children.

At least 17 humanitarian workers were killed, and more than 14.6 million people, including 56% women and girls, require urgent humanitarian assistance, Wosornu reported.

"More than 14.6 million people, about 40% of Ukraine's population, require some form of humanitarian assistance, 56% of whom are women and girls," she added. -

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