Russia’s War in Ukraine Has Killed ‘More Than 9,000 Civilians’

Aljazeera, January 17, 2023 — More than 9,000 Ukrainian civilians, including 453 children, have been killed since Russia’s invasion some 11 months ago, according to a top official.

Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak announced the grim toll at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, adding: “We have registered 80,000 crimes committed by Russian invaders.

“We will not forgive a single [act of] torture or life taken. Each criminal will be held accountable.”

Yermak reiterated calls for a special international tribunal to try Russia and reparations for the destruction caused by the invasion.

On Monday, the United Nations said more than 7,000 civilians had been killed.

It is impossible to verify either figure, but estimates of war dead are often understood to be lower than the reality.

Ukraine's first lady
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska delivers a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland [Markus Schreiber/AP Photo]

At the summit of world and business leaders in Davos, the war in Ukraine is a central topic.

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska told attendees that parents are in tears watching doctors try to save their children.

“We cannot let a new Chernobyl to happen,” she said. “We are all internally convinced that there is no such global problem that humanity cannot solve.

“This is more important now when Russia’s aggression in Europe poses various challenges.”

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Global food and fuel prices have skyrocketed as bloody battles rage in the east and south of Ukraine, which along with Russia is among the world’s leading suppliers of wheat, barley and other soft commodities to Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

About 345 million people in 82 countries are facing acute food insecurity, according to the UN World Food Programme, up from 135 million in 53 countries before the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Zelenska said it was “an insult to mankind and human nature to have mass starvation”.

The summit comes days after one of the war’s deadliest days; a missile hit an apartment block in Dnipro on Saturday, killing at least 44 people.

Zelenska said Ukrainians “can’t take a day off from war” and that they “have to risk their lives each day”, but said she believed the world would unify for peace.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also urged global leaders at Davos to keep aiding Ukraine.

“Ukraine wants to become a member of the European Union, and it is a perfect opportunity to take investment and reform to pave this way for Ukraine towards the European Union,” she said after Zelenska’s address.

“And my call on you is: We need every helping hand on board. Ukraine deserves to have as much support as possible.”

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