UN reports over 2100 civilian casualties in Ukraine
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UN reports over 2100 civilian casualties in Ukraine

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) posted an update Friday noting over 2100 civilian casualties in Ukraine.

Since the start of hostilities on February 24, OHCHR has verified 816 civilians were killed and 1333 injured. The death toll includes 59 children, while 74 children were injured in the fighting. 903 of the casualties occurred in Donetsk and Luhansk, two regions in southeastern Ukraine controlled by separatists and recognized as independent by Russia. Most of the casualties were caused by wide-impact explosive weapons, including heavy artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems and missile and airstrikes.

However, OHCHR believes the civilian casualty count is “considerably higher,” since in recent days information has been delayed from areas facing intense hostilities. Reports from such areas are pending corroboration. In particular, OHCHR notes allegations of numerous civilian casualties in Mariupol and Volnovakha (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Sievierodonetsk and Rubizhne (Luhansk region) and Trostianets (Sumy region).

OHCHR specifically highlighted a report from the Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine stating that, as of March 18, 109 children had been killed and over 130 injured. Another report from the Investigative Department of the National Police of Kharkiv Region said, as of March 17, 250 civilians had been killed there, with 13 of the deaths being children.

The Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has been documenting civilian casualties in the country since 2014 but has been unable to visit all locations where there have been incidents of casualties and has had to rely on contact persons and partners in areas where casualties have occurred.