Over 24, 000 civilians killed, wounded, or missing, during 14 months of war

Thousands of civilians have died or been wounded by Russian shelling and bombing since the full-scale invasion in late February 2022. Many others have disappeared. The worst affected are the areas bordering Russia.
Maksym Reviakin, Roman Klymenko02 August 2023UA DE EN ES FR IT RU

The Solnyshko kindergarten in Okhtyrka (Sumy Region). Four people were killed here by Russian shelling on 25 February 2022 (© Denys Volokha, KHPG)

We have already published an analysis of the shelling of civilian sites by the Russian army. Here we present information describing how the civilian population has suffered from such attacks between late February 2022 and April 2023.

As of 30 April 2023, the T4P database recorded 24,637 civilians who were killed, wounded, or have gone missing, since Russia invaded on 24 February last year. In the great majority of cases, about 90%, they were the victims of Russian artillery attacks.

The population suffered and continues to suffer worst in those parts of Ukraine bordering Russia where the Russian army has been able to advance furthest.

Ilustración: Sergio Prytkin / Grupo de derechos humanos de Jarkiv Illustration : Serhiy Pritkine/ Groupe de défense des droits humains de Kharkiv

Chart, (Sergei Prytkin / KHPG)
Civilians in more remote parts of Ukraine, in the city of Kyiv and the Dnipro Region, have also suffered from Russian shelling.

[Illustration : Serhiy Pritkine/ Groupe de défense des droits humains de Kharkiv]

The T4P Initiative has identified over two thousand victims of various forms of artillery attack (the Solnyshko kindergarten, for instance, was hit by a Grad rocket): 1,628 who died and 77 witnesses. Their personal and contact details have been entered in our closed database and lawyers are working with survivors and witnesses to record and document these crimes.

UN statistics

During this phase of the conflict, between 24 February 2022 and 14 February 2023, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded and made public the deaths in Ukraine of 8,006 civilians and the wounding of a further 13,287. Where the details were known, 61% were men and 39.9%, women. At least 487 children were killed and 954 were wounded. The High Commissioner’s Office believes that the real totals are considerably higher: figures were not available for places where fighting was intense and which today remain under Russian control: the cities of Mariupol and Sievierodonetsk in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, and the town of Zolote (Luhansk Region).

About 18 million people in Ukraine (roughly half the total population) are today in need of humanitarian aid, according to UN figures, and endured particularly difficult conditions during the past winter. The conflict has affected people’s right to healthcare, education and housing, and restricted their access to food and water. Vulnerable groups in the population (the elderly, the disabled, children and members of minority groups) suffered especially. The conflict has left no part of Ukraine unaffected.

Explosive weapons deployed by Russian forces (artillery, cruise and ballistic missiles, aerial bombing) were responsible, says the UN High Commissioner’s Office, for over nine in ten victims in Ukraine (90.3%). Most of these shells, missiles or bombs landed in densely populated areas. Such attacks damaged or destroyed thousands of residential buildings, more than 3,000 educational establishments and over 600 medical institutions. Systematic attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure deprived much of the civilian population of electricity, water, sewage disposal, heating and telecommunication systems and made it hard for them to use medical and educational services.

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