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Child casualties in Ukraine rise 7% over the summer with over 540 children killed in 18 months of war

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Child casualties

Child casualties in Ukraine increased by more than 7% between May to August compared to the previous four months as air and drone attacks tripled, with no end to the danger faced by children after 18 months of war, Save the Children said today.  

Since May 2023, a total of 148 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine, bringing the number of child casualties since the escalation of war on 24 Feb last year to more than 1,700, according to UN data. This includes 545 deaths, with 24 children killed this summer. 

“Ukraine is 18 months into full-scale war, and there seems to be no reprieve from the perilous circumstances endured by children and families,” said Save the Children’s Advocacy Director in Ukraine Amjad Yamin. 

The month of June was the deadliest so far this year for children with 11 children killed and 43 more injured. According to verified UN data,[1] there was an increase in all civilian casualties in Ukraine in between 1 May and 13 August with June recording the highest number of total civilian casualties in 2023 at 865.  

Conflict analytics reports showed that between Jan 1- April 30 there were 459 air and drone strikes. This rose to 1,432 between 1 May and 4 August, with about 95% of these attacks in populated areas. 

In one such attack on the morning of 31 July, a missile hit an apartment block in Kryvyi Rih, Southern Dnipro, destroying five stories of a high-rise building. A 10-year-old girl and her mother were killed in the incident, with more than 80 further reported casualties, including seven injured children. 

On 11 August, an 8-year-old boy was killed in Kolomyia, western Ukraine, after a missile struck the back garden of his family home. A family of four was killed by shelling in Kherson region two days later, including a 12-year-old boy and a baby girl just 23 days old. Just last week on 19 August, a six-year-old girl was among the seven people killed and 180 injured in an attack in the northern city of Chernihiv. 

“Since last February, more than 1,700 children have been killed or injured due to unrelenting hostilities. The vast majority of those casualties are attributed to missiles and drones being fired at residential areas. This serves as a grim reminder that explosive weapons should not be used anywhere near populated areas, such as towns and villages,” added Yamin. 

Save the Children is calling on all sides to adhere to obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and ensure that civilians and civilian objects, especially those used by children such as homes, schools, and hospitals, are protected from attack.     

Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering humanitarian aid to children and their families affected by hostilities. It is also supporting refugee families across Europe and helping children to access education and other critical services. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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