The United Nations Office for Human Rights today warned of an increase in civilian casualties in the ongoing Russian offensive against Ukraine and said it had received reports of at least 25 civilians killed and 102 wounded by shelling, The UN acknowledged, however, that the actual figure is likely higher.
Most of the casualties were reported in Ukrainian government-controlled areas in Donetsk, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Luhansk regions, the spokeswoman said.
“Civilians are terrified of a possible escalation of the conflict: many of them are trying to leave their homes and take refuge as far as possible,” the office’s spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a press conference.
The Ukrainian government has raised the number of Ukrainians killed in the invasion to at least 137, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The source stressed that the human rights observation mission in Ukraine already on the ground continues to work, although it has difficulties in confirming the information they receive, due to factors such as the wave of fake news accompanying the current conflict.
“There is an information war going on and we are receiving a lot of information that after analysis proves to be completely false, so we are being extremely cautious about giving figures on civilian casualties,” Shamdasani said.
The spokeswoman also noted that there have been reported cases of journalists being prevented from working in the conflict zone.
“We must respect the protection of journalists and media professionals, especially in these circumstances, because it is crucial to receive objective information about the situation on the ground,” Shamdasani stressed.