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UN reports highest monthly civilian casualties rate in Ukraine for May 2024

The surge occurred primarily due to brutal offensives in Kharkiv Oblast.
russian missile attack kharkiv resort kills one injures two civilians aftermath russia's s-300 dachne oblast overnight 3 june 2024 telegram/kharkiv prosecutor's office
Aftermath of Russia’s S-300 missile attack on Dachne, Kharkiv Oblast, overnight on 3 June 2024. Photo: Telegram/Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor’s Office.
UN reports highest monthly civilian casualties rate in Ukraine for May 2024

In May 2024, Russian attacks resulted in the deaths of 174 civilians in Ukraine. The assaults also injured 690 people, marking the highest monthly number of civilian casualties since the conflict began, according to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. This grim toll reflects a 31 percent increase in civilian deaths compared to April 2024.

The surge in casualties is primarily attributed to intensified attacks in the Kharkiv Oblast. On 10 May, Russian forces opened a new front in the region, targeting Ukrainian villages, including Vovchansk and Lyptsi. The number of casualties in Kharkiv Oblast accounted for 53 percent of the total civilian losses in May.

Ukraine’s infrastructure in the Kharkiv region also suffered significant damage from Russian strikes. Nearly 65 percent of the overall destruction to educational and health facilities occurred here, with Vovchansk, a city near the Ukraine-Russia border, experiencing particularly widespread devastation.

Most of the civilian casualties (92 percent) and damage to educational and health facilities (96 percent) were reported in government-controlled areas.

The UN Mission documented 24 attacks on energy infrastructure, including 19 in Ukraine-controlled territories and regions occupied by Russian troops. These attacks damaged power generation plants and electricity substations, temporarily disrupting access to electricity and water supply. Additionally, the UN recorded six attacks on railway infrastructure in government-controlled areas.

This escalation highlights the ongoing human toll of the conflict, with civilians continuing to bear the brunt of the violence and infrastructural destruction.

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