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More than 10,000 civilians killed in Ukraine since 2022 invasion, UN says

Civilians caught in crossfire in war in Ukraine. (Photo by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, Oleksandr Rakushnyak)

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed and more than 18,500 injured in fighting in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February of last year, according to a report by the UN Human Rights Office.

The elderly account for an outsized share of the deaths because they find it harder to flee the fighting, and 560 of the dead are children, the report said. The numbers represent verified deaths and the real toll is likely higher, the UN said on Nov 21.

Most of the deaths have been caused by explosive weapons, such as artillery shells, missiles and cluster bombs, the UN said. In a recent three-month period, such weapons accounted for 93% of civilian deaths, while land mines and unexploded ordnance accounted for the rest.

Although neither side reports their own military deaths, the US has estimated that more than 500,000 soldiers have been killed or wounded in the fighting since Feb 24 of last year.

The scale of death adds hurdles to the task of rebuilding Ukraine, particularly psychologically, on top of the economic damage wrought by the sudden flight of 10 million citizens - some 6 million who fled the country and 4 million who fled the southern and eastern regions but remained in safer parts of Ukraine.

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