The UN human rights office reported that over 10,000 civilians have died in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. According to Danielle Bell, head of the UN observation mission in Ukraine, about half of the recent deaths occurred far from the front lines.
The majority of these deaths were caused by explosive devices and weapons such as grenades, missiles, and cluster bombs. The UN attributes this to the use of long-range rocket missiles by the Russian army. This has resulted in a disproportionate number of elderly individuals becoming victims, as 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.
Despite this evidence, Russia continues to deny deliberately targeting civilians during the conflict in Ukraine. However, it is clear that innocent people have been caught in the crossfire and have paid a heavy price for the ongoing conflict. It is crucial that all parties involved take immediate steps to protect civilians and end this senseless violence as soon as possible.