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UN: number of confirmed civilian deaths in Ukraine exceeds 10,000

More than 560 of them are children. The UN notes that the actual number of civilian deaths may be much higher. 

UN: number of confirmed civilian deaths in Ukraine exceeds 10,000
Illustrative photo: Bakhmut
Photo: 93rd Mechanised Brigade Kholodnyy Yar

Since the Russian Federation's full-scale armed attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, at least 10,000 civilian deaths have been recorded, more than 560 of whom were children, and more than 18,500 civilians have been injured. This was reported by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU).

On 15 November this year, four civilians were killed when a rocket hit a four-storey residential building in Selydove, Donetsk Region, in government-controlled territory, bringing the total number of civilian deaths to more than 10,000. The victims include a family that was displaced at the beginning of the war and an 85-year-old woman.

"Ten thousand civilian deaths is a grim milestone for Ukraine," said Danielle Belle, Chief Monitor of the SMM, "The war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is now in its 21st month and threatens to turn into a protracted conflict with a loss of life on an insane scale.”

The HRMMU stated that the 10,000 figure reflects the number of civilian deaths verified through its own methodology and warned that the true figure could be much higher as verification of such data is complex and takes time.

Last week's incident in Selydove is a typical example of attacks that result in civilian deaths and injuries, the HRMMU said. Over the past three months, from August to October, the vast majority of confirmed civilian deaths and injuries - 86% of the total - occurred in government-controlled areas.

The majority of cases were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide area of impact, such as artillery shells, cluster munitions, rockets and barrage munitions. Civilian casualty data in Ukraine disproportionately reflects casualties among the elderly, who are often unable to move to safe places.

The HRMMU's monitoring shows that a significant number of civilian deaths and injuries occur far from the frontline, mainly due to the use of long-range rockets and barrage munitions by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, which hit targets in populated areas across the country.

"Over the past three months, almost half of the civilian deaths and injuries have occurred far from the frontline. We can state that there are no completely safe places in Ukraine right now," said Ms Belle. 

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