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WorldAsiaThe UN has confirmed the deaths and injuries of 5,987 civilians in Ukraine from August 2022 to January 31,...

The UN has confirmed the deaths and injuries of 5,987 civilians in Ukraine from August 2022 to January 31, 2023



The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published on Friday report which provides the latest figures for the number of confirmed civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 21 killed by Russian forces in executions or isolated attacks.

OHCHR investigators estimated that at least 5,987 Ukrainian civilians were killed or injured between August 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023, and the number of casualties could be much higher as OHCHR operates on numbers that its investigators were able to overlap. Among the victims are 21 people who, according to the OHCHR, were executed by the Russian army.

The report said explosive weapons used indiscriminately were responsible for the large number of civilian casualties. Figures show that there are at least four times more civilian casualties in Ukrainian-controlled territory than in Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory.

OHCHR has documented 133 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, most of which took place in Russian-occupied territory, including during so-called “screening processes”.

The report mentions the disappearance or “arbitrary detention” of 214 Ukrainians in territory occupied by Russia, and 91 cases in territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. The report indicates that most of those arrested by the Ukrainian authorities are suspected of collaborating.

OHCHR is deeply concerned about the ill-treatment, torture and disappearance of children in Russian-occupied territories. The report mentions in particular the kidnapping of five teenagers, who were all tortured.

A separate OHCHR report, also released on Friday, refers to the mistreatment of prisoners of war by Russian and Ukrainian forces. The document points out that the Ukrainian government granted “full and confidential access” to OHCHR representatives to official places of internment of Russian prisoners of war.

The report documented the executions of 15 Ukrainian POWs and 25 Russian POWs that the OHCHR considered “likely to constitute war crimes”, while noting that the documentation process was “significantly influenced by the level and the type of access to facilities for prisoners of war”. According to OHCHR investigators, Russian prisoners of war were, in general, “better treated when they went to places of internment and were in permanent places of internment”. It also indicates that the Ukrainian authorities are actively cooperating with the UN on the treatment of prisoners of war.

In both reports, the OHCHR called on “all parties” to protect victims and punish perpetrators.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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