At least 71 children died in Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24, Liudmyla Denisova, head of human rights in the Ukrainian Parliament, announced on Thursday.
“Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and until March 10 at 11 a.m. included, 71 children have died, and more than 100 have been injured“He said in a statement on Telegram.
The complaints of attacks against the civilian population by Russian forces multiply as the invasion progresses. The most recent episode was the bombing of a pediatric hospital in Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine.
A group of people fleeing the war crosses Ukraine’s border with Poland. Photo: REUTERS
Although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had declared that all patients and nurses they were removed from the place Before the attack, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, denied that this had happened.
“Russian TV has mentioned the attack on Mariupol. They lied about the fact that there were no women or children in the hospital, and they said there were nationalists. They are lying knowing they are lying, as they always do,” Zelensky told the newspaper The Kyiv Independent.
testimonies of horror
As the more than two million refugees from Ukraine begin to scatter across Europe, their testimonies about Russian atrocities are also expanding, and could become valuable evidence to build a case of possible war crimes.
Increasingly, people who appear at border crossings they are survivors who have fled some of the cities hardest hit by Russian forces.
The hospital in Mariupol that was bombed by Russian forces. Photo: AFP
“It was very creepy,” said Ihor Diekov, one of many people who crossed the Irpin River outside Kiev on the slippery wooden planks of a makeshift bridge, after Ukrainians blew up the concrete span to slow progress. Russian.
He heard gunshots as he crossed and saw corpses along the truckor.
“The Russians promised to provide a (humanitarian) corridor which they did not deliver. They were shooting at civilians,” he said. “That is absolutely true. I witnessed it. people were afraid“, full.
Such testimonies will reach more and more of the world in the coming days, as more people flow through the fragile humanitarian corridors.
The United Nations human rights office says it has recorded the deaths of 516 civilians in Ukraine in the two weeks since the Russian invasion, including 37 children.
Most have been caused by “the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area”. The agency believes that the actual number of victims is “considerably higher” and noted that its figures do not include some areas of “intense conflict”like Mariupol.
Some of the latest refugees have seen those deaths firsthand. Their testimonies will be a critical part of efforts to hold Russia accountable for targeting civilians and civilian structures such as hospitals and homes.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court launched an investigation last week that could point to senior officials held responsible for war crimes, after dozens of Court member states called on him to act. The collection of evidence has begun.
Source: AFP and AP