UN says Russian attack has killed at least 1,417 civilians, injured 2,038 in Ukraine so far
The International Red Cross said one of its teams was trying to reach Ukraine’s city of Mariupol on Sunday, where thousands of people are trapped, facing daily Russian bombardment.
The United Nations also said that since the Russian attack on Feb. 24, 1,417 civilians have been killed and 2,038 injured in Ukraine, but the real toll is much higher.
International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman Sam Smith told Anadolu Agency: “An ICRC team left Zaporizhzhia (northwest of Mariupol) on Saturday.”
It was still on its way to the southern border Ukrainian port on Sunday, where people are deprived of food, water, and necessities.
“The situation is very tense,” said Smith explaining that the team trying to reach Mariupol consists of three vehicles and nine personnel.
By April 2, the number of people fleeing Ukraine since the Russian-Ukrainian war began reached 4.2 million, primarily women and children and nearly one-tenth of the population, said the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
More than 2.4 million of those fleeing have gone to Poland.
A Red Cross team on its way to Mariupol to facilitate the safe passage of some 100,000 civilians had to backtrack Friday after conditions made it impossible to proceed, said the humanitarian group.
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko had said on Monday that up to 160,000 civilians are stranded in the city.
The ICRC said earlier that it is communicating with Ukrainians and Russians on the final details of how tens of thousands of civilians stranded in Mariupol will be evacuated.
– Reaching Mariupol
Humanitarian groups have been unable to reach Mariupol since Russian forces began bombing the city after the start of its war on Feb. 24.
So far, 54 buses are reported to be in the convoy, which could take tens of thousands of civilians away from the city.
ICRC spokesman Ewan Watson told journalists Friday that allowing people to leave and letting aid supplies in is now a humanitarian imperative.
“The people of Mariupol have suffered weeks of heavy fighting with dwindling water, food, and medical supplies. Piecing together the safe passage convoy has been and remains extremely complex.”
According to some reports, Russian troops forced Ukrainian civilians to relocate to areas under their control.
Meanwhile, explaining the war toll, the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that most civilian casualties were caused by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems and missile and airstrikes.
“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.”
The UN maintained that 59 children had been killed but said that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine says 158 children have been killed and at least 258 injured.