politics

Russian Invasion Has Killed at Least 549 Civilians in Ukraine, 41 of Them Children, But United Nations Believes Toll Is ‘Considerably' Higher

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed at least 549 civilians, 41 of whom were children, the United Nations said.
  • At least an additional 957 civilians have been injured, according to the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • "OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, especially in government-controlled territory and especially in recent days," the office said.
  • "Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area," the office said, as Ukraine officials accused Russia of a war crime in bombing a children's hospital in Mariupol.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed at least 549 civilians, 41 of whom were children, the United Nations said Thursday, noting the actual death toll is believed to be "considerably higher."

At least an additional 957 civilians have been injured since the attack began two weeks ago, according to the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and airstrikes," that office said.

"OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, especially in government-controlled territory and especially in recent days," the office said.

The report said that getting information from locations where "intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed." Many reports "are still pending corroboration," the OHCHR added.

"This concerns, for example, the towns of Volnovakha, Mariupol, Izium where there are allegations of hundreds of civilian casualties," the office said, noting that its report did not include casualty statistics from those areas.

The report noted that the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has said that 61 children have been killed and 100 injured.

The U.N. Human Rights Commissioner's office said its statistics are based on information from "contact persons and partners in places where civilian casualties occurred."

The report comes as Ukrainian officials condemned a Russian airstrike on a children's hospital in the port city of Mariupol as a war crime. Three people, one of them a child, were killed in the attack, which left other children trapped under rubble, officials said.

Russian forces have attacked medical facilities 18 times since the invasion began, according to the World Health Organization.

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