Nov 21, 2022 - World

UN: Over 6,500 Ukrainian civilians killed in Russia's invasion

Kherson residents at an aid supply distribution point in the city on Nov. 19.

Kherson residents at an aid supply distribution point in the city on Nov. 19. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Human Rights Office said Monday nearly 6,600 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the start of Russia's invasion, though it stressed that its estimates are likely far lower than the actual figures.

The big picture: In total, its human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine has so far recorded and independently verified 16,784 civilian casualties in the country, which includes 10,189 injuries.

  • Among the 6,595 killed were 2,575 men, 1,767 women, 172 girls, 206 boys, as well as 37 children and 1,838 adults whose sex is yet unknown, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

What they're saying: "OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration," it said.

  • The office said its recording efforts have been specifically hindered in the destroyed city of Mariupol, and the towns of Izium Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk, where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.
  • It said most of the people were killed or injured from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, like heavy artillery shelling, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes.

Since facing major setbacks in south and northeast Ukraine over the summer and fall, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure with missile and drone attacks.

A UN human rights commission said in September its initial investigation had uncovered found evidence of war crimes committed in Ukraine.

  • It said the crimes included indiscriminate targeting of civilian buildings, executions and sexual and gender-based violence committed by Russian soldiers.

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