Ukraine

Ukraine Casualty Monitor: AOAV data on harm to civilians by explosive weapons

Total civilian casualties*:449
-Killed: 249
-Injured: 200
Updated: 10 March 2022

*This figure refers to the number of civilians killed or injured by explosive weapon use in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on 24 Feb 2022, gathered using incident-specific English language media reporting. See AOAV’s methodology.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022, hundreds – if not thousands – of civilians have been killed and injured across the country. Russian air strikes, missile strikes, and artillery shelling have targeted densely populated urban centres, apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, military bases and vital infrastructure nationwide. The UN estimates that over a million people, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine into neighbouring Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, and the number of internally displaced people continues to grow. Humanitarian corridors of evacuation have been attacked, lines of traffic stretch kilometres at border crossings and out of major cities, and a fuel crisis and freezing temperatures compound the struggle to find safety. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving the county, and millions of civilians remain in Ukraine, sheltering from the violence of the Russian advance, providing essential goods and services, and fighting alongside Ukrainian armed forces.

Civilian casualties have been reported in the nation’s capital Kyiv, eastern Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zhytomyr, and Odessa, among others.

Since the start of the recent fighting, Ukraine’s interior ministry estimates that at least 2,000 civilians have died as of 3 March, though emergency services say this number is just an estimation as many people remain trapped under rubble and ongoing bombardments. Ukraine’s government has said that at least 11,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, while Russia’s Defence Minister Igor Konashenkov claims that 498 Russian troops have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded. Konashenkov said that among Ukrainian troops, 2,870 have been killed, around 3,700 injured and 572 captured.

As of 6 March 2022, the OHCHR said that 1,123 civilian casualties in Ukraine have been verified: 364 killed, including 25 children, and 759 injured, since the Russian invasion began.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) – which takes its sources from reputable English language media – has recorded 585 casualties from explosive weapon use since the Russian invasion began (24 Feb – 10 Mar), across 64 incidents. 339 civilian casualties were recorded (249 killed, 200 injured), and 136 armed-actor casualties (102 killed, 34 injured). Among the civilian casualties are at least 39 children, 18 women and 43 men.

97% (434) of civilian casualties have occurred in populated areas. Of the total recorded casualties (including armed-actors), 97% (569) have occurred in populated areas.

Air-launched explosive weapons (specifically air strikes) have caused 51% (229) of civilian casualties. Ground-launched explosive weapons (missile strikes, artillery shelling, and rockets) have caused 48% (215) of civilian casualties. >1% (5) of civilian casualties have been caused by naval-launched weapons and landmines.

Civilian casualties from explosive weapons have been recorded in Kyiv (108 civilians), Kharkiv (88), Chernihiv (80), Donetsk (71), Sumy (34), Zhytomyr (29), Mykolaiv (11), Odesa (10), Luhansk (8), Vinnytsia (6), Kherson (3), and Cherkasy (1).

The location-types in which civilian casualties have been reported are urban residential areas (174 civilian casualties), Multiple urban spaces (74 civilians), villages (43), hospitals (39), public buildings (30), schools (24), commercial premises (18), other (13), armed bases (9), town centres (6), transport related infrastructure (5), no location information (5), roads (3), hotels (3), agricultural land (2), and markets (1).

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media. Much of the casualty reporting since the beginning of the invasion has focussed on cumulative or region-specific casualty figures, making it unclear precisely when and where these deaths and injuries occurred. Each recorded incident of civilian harm from the use of explosive weapons since the beginning of the Russian invasion is listed below.

Casualty-causing Incidents of Explosive Weapon Use in Ukraine (Since 24 February 2022)

10 March 2022

  • Two women and two children killed and one child injured in Russian shelling of Slobozhanske, Kharkiv.
  • 16-year-old boy killed in Russian shelling of market, Zhukovskoho, Kharkiv.

9 March 2022

  • Three civilians killed (1 child) and 16 injured in Russian airstrike on maternity and children’s hospital, Mariupol, Donetsk.
  • Five people killed (3 children) in Russian air strike on Malyn, Zhytomyr.
  • One civilian killed and two injured by Russian shelling of central Chernihiv, Chernihiv.
  • Three civilians (1 boy child) killed by Russian artillery shelling of urban residential area, Trostianets, Sumy.
  • One civilian killed and 14 injured by Russian shelling in Okhtyrka, Sumy.

8 March 2022

  • One woman killed and two others wounded in Russian air strike on village, Piskivka, Kyiv.
  • One civilian killed and two injured in Russian air strike on hostel, Zhytomyr.
  • Two civilians killed (1 child) by Russian airstrike on residential home, Dinets, Chuhuiv, Kharkiv.
  • Three civilians killed by landmine near Kyiv, Kyiv.

7 March 2022

  • 13 civilians killed and five injured by Russian airstrike on bread factory, Markariv, Kyiv.
  • Five civilians in Russian airstrike on airport in Vinnytsia, Vinnytsia.
  • One civilian killed and four injured in Russian shelling of school in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk.
  • Four civilians killed and five injured in Russian shelling in residential areas of Mykolaiv, Mykolaiv.
  • Two civilians killed by Russian mortar (firearms also used) while feeding animals in Feldman Ecopark, Kharkiv.

6 March 2022

  • Eight civilians killed, including a family of three (two children) by Russian mortar fire while evacuating Irpin, Kyiv.
  • One civilian killed by Russian missile strike on warehouse in Havryshivka, Vinnytsia.

5 March 2022

  • Two civilians killed and several wounded by Russian missile strike on residential building in Kramatorsk, Donetsk.
  • 18-month boy killed by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Donetsk.
  • Two civilians wounded in airstrike on military facility in Zhytomyr, Zhytomyr.

4 March 2022

  • 17 civilians killed and 13 injured in Russian shelling of residential areas in Chernihiv, Chernihiv.
  • Six civilians killed, includig a child, and four wounded in Russian airstrike on Markhalivka village, Kyiv.
  • One Azerbaijani civilian killed and one civilians injured when car hit by Rocket, Mykolaiv.

3 March 2022

  • Eight civilians (2 children) killed in Russian airstrike on Izium, Kharkiv.
  • 47 civilians (38 men, nine women) killed in Russian airstrike in urban residential area of Chernihiv, Chernihiv. The air strike hit residential buildings and two schools.
  • Five civilians injured in air strike on university building in Sumy, Sumy.
  • One civilian killed and one injured by Russian shelling of village, Hatne, Kyiv.
  • One child killed by Russian shelling of village, Irpin, Kyiv.
  • One civilian killed and four injured in Russian shelling of Byshiv village, Kyiv.

2 March 2022

  • One civilian crew member killed by unidentified missile strike on Bangladeshi flagged bulk shipping carrier in Odessa port.
  • One boy killed by Russian shelling near a school, Mariupol, Donetsk.

1 March 2022

  • Six civilians killed (1 child) in Russian airstrike on central square in Kharkiv, Kharkiv
  • Eight civilians killed and six injured in airstrike on residential building in Kharkiv, Kharkiv
  • Five civilians killed and five injured in Russian airstrike on TV tower and Babi Yar, Kyiv.
  • Ten civilians killed and over 20 injured in missile strike on Kharkiv government building, Kharkiv.
  • Indian student killed by shelling in Kharkiv, Kharkiv.
  • 70 Ukrainian soldiers killed in missile strike on armed base, Okhtyrka, Sumy.
  • Four civilians killed (1 child) and 16 injured (7 children) in Russian missile strike on residential area of Zhytomyr, Zhytomyr.

28 February 2022

  • Five civilians killed and four wounded in Russian missile strike on residential area of Kyiv, Kyiv.
  • Four civilians killed in Russian shelling of residential area in Kharkiv, Kharkiv.
  • One woman killed and two civilians injured in Russian shelling of apartment building in Severodonetsk, Luhansk.
  • 11 civilians killed in Russian shelling of residential area in Kharkiv, Kharkiv.

26 February 2022

  • Five civilians killed (1 child) and six wounded (2 children) in Russian shelling on a school in Okhtyrkha, Sumy. Reports suggest the use of cluster bombs.
  • 10 civilians (Greek nationals) killed and six wounded (1 child) in Russian airstrike on Mariupol, Donetsk.
  • Two civilians killed and four injured in Russian missile strike on apartment building in in Kyiv, Kyiv.
  • One child killed and four civilians injured (2 children) in Russian shelling of a hospital in Kyiv, Kyiv.
  • One woman and two children killed (Azerbaijani citizens) in Russian airstrike on an urban residential area in Kherson, Kherson.

25 February 2022

  • Four civilians killed and 15 wounded in Russian airstrike on Vyshhorodska, Kyiv.
  • Three civilians injured by Russian rocket strike on residential building in Kyiv, Kyiv.
  • Two teachers killed by Ukrainian shelling in Gorlovka, Donetsk.

24 February 2022

  • Four civilians killed and 10 injured when Russian shell struck a hospital in Vuhledar, Donetsk.
  • One civilian killed by Russian shelling in Uman, Cherkasy.
  • One boy killed in shelling of apartment block in Kharkiv, Kharkiv.
  • Woman and man injured in airstrike on apartment block in Kharkiv.
  • One civilian killed and five wounded by Ukrainian shelling in Gorlovka, Donetsk.
  • Six civilians killed in Russian shelling of Brovary, Kyiv

Civilian Casualties in Ukraine, 2014-2021

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has monitored an escalation in violence in the Donbas region, which borders Russia, and where violence between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists has occurred since 2014.

Between 2014 and 2021, AOAV recorded 5,242 deaths and injuries in Ukraine, including 2,704 civilians and 2,538 armed actors and security personnel. Of the civilian casualties recorded, 2,381 (88%) were caused by explosive weapon use in populated areas.

Ground-launched weapons, such as shelling, mortars, rockets, or grenades, for example, have accounted for 2,459 civilian casualties since 2014 – 91% of total civilian casualties.

Of the civilian casualties, the vast majority occurred in 2014 and 2015, with 1,428 and 862 civilian deaths and injuries in these years respectively. Despite continued sporadic shelling across the line of control, which divides the region of Donbas, civilian casualties have fallen quite consistently since 2014, with 28 recorded last year. Fewer civilian casualties are also likely to have occurred as numerous civilians have fled the worst impacted areas in Donbas since 2014, leaving an aging population, many of whom cannot leave.

In many instances of shelling since 2014, the perpetrator has not been identified, but where they have, Ukrainian separatist forces have been responsible for at least 667 civilian casualties and Ukraine for 783.

In the days preceding the Russian invasion, there was an increase in shelling across the line of control, which has resulted in seven civilian casualties. At least three civilians were injured on February 17th when separatist shelling hit a school in Luhansk. On the same day, separatist shelling left another woman injured in Marinka as she waited for a bus. Shelling by Ukrainian forces was also reported to have left one woman injured on February 17th. On February 20th, 2 civilian deaths were reported due to Ukrainian shelling in occupied areas of Luhansk. And, on February 21st, a civilian was killed and homes damaged by separatist shelling on Donetsk.

This escalation in violence and the Russian invasion is likely to be disastrous for civilians, as highlighted by the statement released today by the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), of which AOAV is a founding member.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. AOAV encourages all armed actors to stop using explosive weapons with wide-area affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.