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UN report shows magnitude of war’s toll on Ukrainian civilians

The UN Human Rights Office has outlined a litany of abuses and possible war crimes carried out by Russian forces in Ukraine since the invasion was launched on February 24.

Matilda Bogner, Head of the UN Human Rights Commission in Ukraine, stated this in Kiev on Wednesday, during a news conference, which was timed to coincide with the new report on the effects of the war, overseen by the UN Human Rights Office.

Bogner said that Russia was waging the war in violation of international law, and that civilians were at the receiving end of the hostilities.

She particularly cited the attack on the train station in Ukrainian-controlled Kramatorsk in early April, which left 60 dead and 111 injured.

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“Densely populated areas were being shelled with heavy artillery and attacked from the air, while cluster munitions have been repeatedly used in some areas,” she added.

The report found reasonable grounds to believe that both Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups, as well as, to a lesser extent, Ukrainian armed forces, had made use of cluster munitions.

According to the report, the cluster munitions detonate in the air and release a cloud of small bombs.

Bogner said monitors had so far recorded 202 damaged or destroyed medical facilities, and 272 damaged educational institutions, though the exact number might likely be higher.

This week alone, she said, more than 10,000 civilians had been killed or injured, with hundreds of children among those that were dead.

“I stress that the actual figures are considerably higher,’’ she said, putting the number of dead at more than 4,700.

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