Five weeks after the Russian military operation in Ukraine began, civilian deaths Friday by the UN was at 1,276, with 1,981 wounded, although the toll is much higher as the number fleeing climbed to 4,102,876.
UN agencies said feeding residents in besieged areas is also difficult due to the destruction of so much infrastructure in Ukraine since the war began Feb. 24
The Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OCHCR) said most civilian casualties recorded were caused by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, 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,” said the rights office, citing Mariupol and Volnovakha in the Donetsk region, Izium in the Kharkiv region, Popasna in the Luhansk region and Irpin in the Kyiv region.
There are “allegations of numerous civilian casualties in those cities,” it said.
Tomson Phiri from the World Food Program (WFP) said at a UN news conference in Geneva that in Lviv in western Ukraine his agency launched cash assistance for vulnerable refugees and families who hosted them.
He said one of the challenges was that many humanitarian partners were not able to work in besieged areas.
“Despite a very volatile security situation, we have been able to provide food to vulnerable families in the encircled cities of Kharkiv, near the Russian border, and Sumy,” said Phiri. “At the same time, we have distributed over 330,000 loaves of freshly baked bread to families in Kharkiv. We plan to deliver another 990,000 loaves in the coming weeks.”
The WFP launched a similar program in neighboring Moldova, which has accepted more than 390,187 people fleeing Ukraine.
Almost 2.39 million refugees have gone to Poland, more than 623,000 to Romania, 374,000 to Hungary and over 292,000 to Slovakia.
Russia has accepted more than 350,000 refugees, according to UNHCR.