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Russian strikes continue to wreak havoc across Ukraine

Destroyed buildings in Odesa, a port city in southern Ukraine. (file)
© UNOCHA/Alina Basiuk
Destroyed buildings in Odesa, a port city in southern Ukraine. (file)

Russian strikes continue to wreak havoc across Ukraine

Peace and Security

Russian strikes have continued to “wreak havoc” on Ukrainian cities, causing death and destruction and leaving millions of civilians without access to vital services, the UN aid coordination office (OCHA) said on Thursday.

In a flash update, the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that since the intensification of aerial attacks on 29 December, approximately 3,000 families had seen their homes damaged across Ukraine.

That day saw one of the deadliest attacks since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, in which at least 58 people were killed and over 150 injured during country-wide aerial strikes.

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Health services have also been affected, with 11 attacks verified by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) since 29 December.

“The attacks were exacerbated by the extreme weather conditions, leaving millions without electricity, water or heating, at a time when temperatures dropped to as low as to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) in different parts of Ukraine,” OCHA said.

Humanitarian efforts continue

Humanitarians, meanwhile, continued to support those affected by the recent attacks, despite challenges, noting that damage had been reported to aid facilities in Kherson.

“Today [Thursday], for example, aid workers are providing assistance to civilians in Kharkiv, where a strike late last night damaged a hotel and other civilian infrastructure,” OCHA added.

In 2023, some 55 incidents impacting humanitarian assets were reported, including 30 incidents when warehouses and distribution sites came under fire.

Rising death toll

The OCHA report also noted a spike in deaths and injuries across Ukraine.

Since 29 December, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded the death of 125 civilians and injury to over 550 others.  

Between 6 and 8 January alone, at least five children were reported killed and eight more injured in Donetsk, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

This brings the confirmed number of civilians killed since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022 to more than 10,200 – including 575 children – and those injured to over 19,300.