Ukraine war now ‘apocalyptic’ humanitarians warn, in call for safe access

On 5 March 2022 in western Ukraine, children and families make their way to the border to cross into Poland. (Photo via UN)
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(United Nations News) On day 13 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and amid rising numbers of civilian casualties, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday repeated her ceasefire call, with humanitarians on the ground describing conditions as increasingly “apocalyptic”.

Addressing the Human Rights Council, Ms. Bachelet said that since Russia began its offensive on 24 February, at least 1,335 civilians have been confirmed wounded or killed – 474 killed and 861 injured.

The true number is likely to be much higher, given the type of weapons employed across Ukraine by Russian forces, said the High Commissioner’s Office, OHCHR.

Most of the civilian casualties are from airstrikes and explosive weapons used by Russian forces with wide area effects, including heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems,” said Liz Throssell, OHCHR spokesperson. “As a result, hundreds of residential buildings in many cities, including Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mariupol and Kyiv have been damaged and destroyed.”

Amid continued shelling and use of multiple rocket launch systems on Ukrainian cities, the UN humanitarian coordinating office, OCHA, reiterated the need to urgently establish a working system to ensure safe passage to get civilians out, and aid workers in.

Read more at: United Nations News

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