Since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, over 10,000 civilians have died in Ukraine, according to a report from the UN human rights office. The actual number of civilian deaths is expected to be significantly higher than reported.
Danielle Bell, head of the UN observation mission in Ukraine, revealed that about half of the more recent deaths occurred far behind the front lines. The majority of deaths were caused by explosive devices and weapons such as grenades, missiles, and cluster bombs, with almost half of the recent casualties occurring far from the front lines. The UN attributes this to the use of long-range rocket missiles by the Russian army.
Elderly individuals make up a disproportionately large number of the victims, likely because they are unable or unwilling to leave their homes for safer places. More than a third of the victims are people over the age of 60, despite that age group making up only a quarter of the population.
Russia has denied deliberately targeting civilians. Despite this claim by Russia, it is clear that innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire between Ukrainian forces and Russian troops. It is crucial for both sides to prioritize protecting civilians and minimizing harm to non-combatants during military operations.