At least two children reportedly killed, and 15 injured in latest wave of deadly attacks across Ukraine

Statement by Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative to Ukraine

03 January 2024
A playground, damaged by shelling, Izium, Kharkivska Oblast, Ukraine October 29, 2023.
UNICEF/UNI491246/Filippov
FILE PHOTO: A playground, damaged by shelling, Izium, Kharkivska Oblast, Ukraine October 29, 2023.

KYIV, 3 January 2024 - “Two children have reportedly been killed and at least 15 children have been reportedly injured in a wave of deadly attacks across several areas in Ukraine.

“Over the last six days, escalating attacks have hit Dnipro, Lviv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odesa, and other populated areas, causing civilian deaths and damage to civilian infrastructure. Our heartfelt thoughts are with all those affected.

“At least eight schools and 10 health care facilities, including a maternity hospital, were reportedly damaged in the past week. Homes have been destroyed, and millions of children have started the new year under the sounds of sirens and explosions, stoking a familiar fear. 

“The cumulative impact of reported casualties, damage to infrastructure and ongoing attacks have turned what should be a season of joy into one marred by dread, fear and sorrow.

“Children across Ukraine have been forced to take refuge in basements, bomb shelters and metro stations, often in the freezing cold early morning hours.

“For children whose homes have been damaged or destroyed, and those whose access to electricity, heating and water has been cut off, the situation is particularly dire as they endure temperatures as low as -20°C.

“Nearly 1,800 children have been killed or injured since the escalation of the war in Ukraine, according to UN-verified reports. The true number is likely far higher. 

“In February, children in Ukraine will have endured two years of full-scale war. Millions of children have been robbed of their childhoods. Many have lost their family members, friends, homes, schools and communities. And they continue to face risks to their safety and well-being as attacks and fighting continue, especially for children living in areas close to the frontline.

“Killing and maiming of children and attacks on schools and hospitals are grave violations of children’s rights and they must stop. The laws of war must be abided by. Children and the civilian infrastructure they rely on must be protected. All necessary measures to protect them must be taken.

“Above all else, children need peace. Children need the chance to be children.”

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Media contacts

Damian Rance
UNICEF Ukraine
Tel: +380 50 344 4564
Joe English
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 893 0692

Additional resources

A family receives winter clothing kits for children and other supplies from UNICEF in the frontline community of Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, on 23 November 2023. A boy is carrying a a big package of received items. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Humanitarian Action and Supply Operations, visited the local community centre where supply distribution was being conducted by UNICEF and partners.
A family receives winter clothing kits for children and other supplies from UNICEF in the frontline community of Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, on 23 November 2023.

Additional resources for media 

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