Nearly 1,000 children killed or injured in Ukraine: UNICEF

Nearly 1,000 boys and girls have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said adding that the actual number could be much higher.”At least 972 children in Ukraine have been killed or injured by violence since the war escalated nearly six months ago, an average of over five children killed or injured each day,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement on Monday.Catherine said once again, as in all wars, the reckless decisions of adults are putting children at extreme risk. She said there are no armed operations of this kind that do not result in children being harmed.”The use of explosive weapons has caused most of the child casualties. These weapons do not discriminate between civilian and combatant, especially when used in populated areas as has been the case in Ukraine – in Mariupol, Luhansk, Kremenchuk, and Vinnytsia. The list goes on and on. The Russia-Ukraine war began nearly six months ago. The full scope of the Ukrainian refugee crisis is difficult to quantify and far exceeds any other refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The UNICEF Executive Director said most child casualties resulted from the use of explosive weapons, which “do not discriminate between civilian and combatant”, especially in populated areas, as has been the case in cities such as Mariupol, Luhansk, Kremenchuk, Vinnytsia, and elsewhere.Meanwhile, almost every child in Ukraine has been exposed to deeply distressing events. Those fleeing violence are at significant risk of family separation, abuse, sexual exploitation, further attacks, and trafficking.The escalating hostilities have devastated the education system. UNICEF estimates that 1 in 10 schools have been damaged or destroyed. Schools have been targeted, or used by parties to the fighting, which means families do not feel safe sending their children back to the classroom.”All children need to be in school and learning, including children caught up in emergencies. Children in Ukraine and those displaced by this war are no exception,” said Russell. The UN Children’s Fund continues to call for an immediate ceasefire.