Ukraine: number of civilian casualties in May was the highest since June 2023

The United Nations (UN) reported this Friday that at least 174 civilians were killed and 690 injured last month in Ukraine, the highest monthly number since June 2023.

The data was presented by the UN Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Joyce Msuya, in a briefing to the Security Council convened by France to address the humanitarian situation in Ukraine ¢nia.

According to Msuya, more than half of the civilian casualties recorded in May “can be attributed to the fighting in Kharkiv”, where, on May 10, Russia launched a ground offensive that targeted several villages in the region.

At least 18,100 people in the Kharkiv region were recently displaced, according to estimates by the International Organization for Migration.

Civilians remaining in the border areas and on the front line in Kharkiv face appalling conditions, Msuya pointed out, explaining that many do not have access to food, medical care, electricity and gas, with the elderly to be disproportionately affected, because they are often unable or refuse to leave their homes.

“In the north of Kharkiv – where the fighting is most intense – more than half of those killed or injured were over 60,” he noted.

The deputy secretary general also considered “deeply worrying” the systematic attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure – a constant since February 2022, when the war began.

Since March 22 this year, the UN and its partners have identified six waves of these types of attacks in 15 regions, affecting healthcare and other social, payment and transport services, and disrupting electricity supplies. , gas and water to millions of families.

Ukraine’s energy system is now below 60% of its pre-war production capacity, according to preliminary estimates by the United Nations Development Programme, which highlights the serious consequences for humanitarian situation in the country.

“We are also deeply concerned about the impact on global food security of attacks on Ukraine’s transport and port infrastructure,” admitted Msuya, indicating that there is new upward pressure on global prices. of cereals linked to damage to Ukrainian infrastructure.

The impact of this war on children was also highlighted at today’s meeting, with the UN warning of the physical, psychological and emotional damage suffered by Ukrainian girls and boys, especially those living on the front lines of fighting, who spent between 3,000 and 5,000 hours in bomb shelters — the equivalent of four to seven months — causing them “immense stress and agitation.”

“More than 600 Ukrainian children have been killed and 1,425 injured since the escalation of the armed conflict. (…) Many have had their education interrupted, further compromising their future,” said the UN representative .

As with other vulnerable groups, children, especially girls, have faced greater exposure to gender-based violence, domestic violence and trafficking for exploitation. sexual.

Furthermore, one million children are among the nearly four million people currently internally displaced in Ukraine. Children also make up a significant part of the 6.5 million registered Ukrainian refugees worldwide.

Regarding the scale of the need for humanitarian assistance, the UN indicated that more than 14.6 million people — around 40% of the population — need some form of help, with more than half are women and girls.

One of the main challenges that humanitarian organizations continue to face is the lack of access to around 1.5 million civilians in the areas of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporijia, currently under occupation. of the Russian Federation.

“The long-term impact of this war will already be felt for many generations,” said Joyce Msuya.

At the Security Council meeting, several Western countries, such as France, the United States and the United Kingdom, reinforced their support for Ukraine and condemned the new Russian attacks on the Kharkiv region. .

“These relentless attacks remind us that Vladimir Putin is not interested in peace. They also remind us of his commitment to a war of illegal conquest, without worrying about the staggering cost to his own people, or to the people of Ukraine,” said US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood.

The diplomat also called for the participation of the international community in the next Peace Summit in Ukraine — organized by Switzerland –, considering that it will be crucial to support the “common objective: maintaining that of international peace and security”.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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