Ukraine’s government said on Friday that dozens of children were killed during Russia’s invasion of the country.
Daria Herasymchuk, Ukraine’s presidential adviser on children’s rights, said 28 children had been killed and 64 injured, while 1.5 million children remained in areas affected by the conflict, which is in its ninth day.
The UN human rights office said on Friday that 19 children had been killed in the conflict so far.
The news comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeals again for help from European nations and condemns a Russian attack on a nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, the largest such facility in Europe.
Herasymchuk said: “Maternities, kindergartens, schools have been destroyed.”
“About one and a half million children are in the bombed and besieged territories, among them there are orphans and disabled children who need immediate help,” she said, according to the report. Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Tetiana Lomakina, humanitarian corridors coordinator with the Ukrainian president’s office, said children were not receiving proper medical care in a number of affected areas.
“Babies are born in basements, and the first thing they hear in their lives is the sound of explosions,” Lomakina said.
On Thursday, UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, warned that millions of children could be at risk as part of the violence in Ukraine.
UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan, warned: “The use of explosive weapons in cities could quickly turn this crisis into a disaster for Ukrainian children.
“There are no armed operations of this magnitude that do not have the effect of injuring children. The consequences will be tragic,” Khan said.
UNICEF also said on Thursday that the number of child victims “is likely much higher” than the UN has been able to confirm.
The UN Human Rights Council voted on Friday to condemn Russia’s alleged human rights abuses and backed the establishment of a commission to investigate the allegations.
“I welcome the creation by the #UN Human Rights Council of the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate the facts of Russian war crimes against Ukraine,” Zelensky tweeted after the vote. “The evidence will be documented and used in international courts. Russian war criminals will be held accountable.”
Zelensky accused Russia of “nuclear terrorism” earlier Friday after the country’s forces bombed the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, leading to condemnation from world leaders.
“We warn everyone that no nation has ever bombed nuclear power plants. For the first time in the history of mankind, the terrorist state is committing nuclear terrorism,” Zelensky said.
The president also called on European nations to do more to help his country. The attack on the nuclear facility caused a fire which was later extinguished.
“Europe must wake up now,” Zelensky said Friday morning. “The largest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire. At the moment, Russian tanks are bombing nuclear units. These are the tanks that have thermal vision, so they know where they are bombing. They are prepared for it.”