According to some estimates, DiCarlo said, the total number of deaths on both sides – both civilians and military personnel – reaches half a million people.
“Today marks one and a half years since the Russian Federation launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” the UN deputy head recalled. – Eighteen months of death, destruction and unimaginable suffering of the Ukrainian people. The end of this war, unleashed in violation of the principles of the UN Charter and international law, is not yet in sight.”
Attacks on civilian infrastructure
Since Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Initiative, the fighting has only escalated, DiCarlo noted: there is a growing threat to freedom of navigation in the Black Sea; As a result of “violent and relentless Russian attacks”, infrastructure for grain exports in the Black Sea and Danube ports of Ukraine has been damaged, jeopardizing the export of food, which is in dire need of the whole world.
“Attacks on grain facilities could have far-reaching global consequences,” the UN Deputy Secretary General warned. “They threaten to undo the progress made in improving world food security over the past year, which in turn could spell disaster for the 345 million already severely food insecure people.” She said that just yesterday, a Russian drone attack destroyed 13,000 tons of grain in the Odessa region.
UN Photo/E. DebebeUnited Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.
On August 19, a Russian rocket attack on a drama theater in downtown Chernihiv killed seven people, including a six-year-old girl. “Many of the victims were passers-by enjoying Saturday mornings with their families, and some were on their way to church to celebrate an Orthodox holiday,” DiCarlo said.
Attacks on Ukraine’s historical and cultural heritage have also intensified. Since the start of the war, UNESCO has confirmed damage to 284 such sites, including 120 religious institutions.
Heinous attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law
The historic center of Odessa, protected by the World Heritage Convention, was seriously damaged on 23 July. “The horrendous attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” said the deputy head of the UN.
To date, the UN has verified 173 cases of conflict-related sexual violence against 112 men, 57 women and four girls. An independent international commission of inquiry into the events in Ukraine said that such cases of sexual violence could be equated with war crimes.
The UN also confirmed 824 attacks on educational institutions and 403 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine.
Shelling of Russian territory
“We are also concerned about the shelling of Russian border settlements and drone attacks deep in Russia, including Moscow,” DiCarlo continued. “Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, wherever they occur, are unjustifiable and are strictly prohibited under international law.”
Ukraine’s Independence Day
Currently, more than $1.7 billion, or 44 percent of the announced amount of $3.9 billion, has been received as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan in Ukraine, the Deputy Head of the UN said, expressing her gratitude to the donors.
“Today’s gloomy milestone – 18 months of war – coincides with the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence,” said the UN Deputy Secretary General. “I would like to congratulate the Ukrainian people on their national holiday and take this opportunity to reiterate that the UN’s commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders is unwavering.”
Source : UN News