Ukraine

Ukraine: Humanitarian Impact Situation Report (As of 3:00 p.m. (EET), 28 February 2022)

Attachments

This report is produced by OCHA Ukraine in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 5 p.m. (EET) 27 February 2022 to 3 p.m. (EET) 28 February 2022.

HIGHLIGHTS

• As heavy fighting continues, reports of civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure damage continue to increase. Government-controlled areas of Donetska, Luhanska and Kharkivska oblasts in eastern Ukraine are among the hardest-hit areas, with several cities, towns and villages within oblasts at the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

• The human cost of the violence is becoming more apparent with each passing day. Between 4:00 a.m. 24 February and midnight on 27 February, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed at least 406 civil casualties, including 102 deaths, with the real figures feared to be much higher.

• Across the country, especially in eastern Ukraine, water infrastructure has suffered severe damage; repair works have been hindered by ongoing shelling and de-mining is required. The continued operation of critical hospital services is being threatened by constant power outages and the persistent risk of ambulances and health personnel being caught in the crossfire.

• As thousands of people flee towards the western part of the country, there is a desperate need for food, water and shelter to complement overstretched response capacities at local levels. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that more than half a million people have fled to neighbouring countries; more than 100,000 people have been displaced within the country amid below freezing winter temperatures.

• Despite immense response challenges, UN agencies and humanitarian partners, especially local non-governmental and civil society organizations, continue to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance, including in hard-to-reach areas.

• On 1 March, the UN and humanitarian partners will launch a Flash Appeal to address the acute humanitarian needs of crisis-affected people within Ukraine. This appeal is coordinated with the Regional Refugee Response Plan, led by UNHCR.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Despite continued attempts at reaching a diplomatic solution to the crisis, violence across Ukraine rages on. The human cost of the conflict continues to become more apparent with each passing day. Between 4:00 a.m. 24 February and midnight on 27 February, OHCHR confirmed at least 406 civil casualties, including 102 killed, with the real figures feared to be much higher.

More than half of all civilian casualties so far have been recorded in the conflict hotbeds of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts, with the Government-controlled areas of these oblasts particularly hard-hit by ongoing hostilities. Casualties have also been reported in the capital Kyiv, Cherkasy (central Ukraine), Chernihiv (north), Kharkiv (north-east), Kherson (south), Sumy (north) and Zaporizhzhia (south-east). OHCHR reports that most civilian casualties have been caused by explosive weapons, including shelling from heavy artillery and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), and air strikes.

In the early hours of 27 February, a missile hit the radioactive waste disposal site of the State-operated Radon company in Kyiv, an ominous reminder of the possible environmental health consequences of ongoing hostilities. Preliminary assessments suggest that the incident does not pose a direct threat to people outside the protected zone of the disposal site. In the morning of 28 February, more than 300,000 people across certain parts of Ukraine were without electricity, while more than 11,600 people no longer have access to gas supply in Chernihivska (north), Kharkivska (north-east), Kyivska (north), Rivnenska, Sumska (north), Zaporizka (south-east) and Zhytomyrska (north) oblasts.

In Kyiv, grocery stores and public transport re-opened after a mandatory curfew; constant warnings of airstrikes still force people into hiding. Despite heavy fighting in Chernihiv (north) and Kharkiv (north-east) Government-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine continue to be the worst-affected part of the country. After days of continuous shelling, people in Stanytsia Luhanska and Shchastia in the Government-controlled Luhanska oblast are in desperate need of emergency assistance.

Around 21,000 people in Volnovakha in the Government-controlled parts of Donetska oblast are on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe as shelling damaged numerous homes and critical infrastructure, including a hospital with some 400 patients. People have been cut off from water, food and fuel for three days. Accessing communities with aid, however, is extremely challenging; the severe security situation is also preventing the possibility of evacuation, exacerbating

The ongoing Omicron-driven surge in COVID-19, with around 1,700 patients currently in hospitals across the country, further complicates the already-difficult health response amid ongoing hostilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the oxygen supply in Ukraine is running dangerously low, with most hospitals at risk of exhausting their oxygen reserves in the next 24 hours, putting thousands of lives at risk. Compounding the situation, the continuance of critical hospital services is being threatened by constant power outages and the persistent risk of ambulances and health personnel being caught in the crossfire. Safe and sustained provision of essential medical supplies and uninterrupted access to emergency medical is critical.

Across the country, especially in eastern Ukraine, water infrastructure has suffered severe damage. The repair works have been hindered by ongoing shelling and mine contamination. As of 27 February, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster reports that around 2.7 million on both sides of the “contact line” receive water twice per day, while some 124,000 are without any access to water. The most affected people are those across nine settlements in Volnovakha (60,185 people), Avdiivka (34,000 people), and in Dokuchaievsk, Yasne and Olenivka (29,056 people) in the non-Government controlled area of Donetska oblast.

As thousands of people continue to flee violence towards western part of the country, there is a desperate need for food, water and shelter as raions (districts) and oblasts (regions) are running out of resources to deal with the massive influx of internally displaced people.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that more than half a million people have fled to neighbouring countries, while more than 100,000 have been displaced within the country amid frigid winter temperatures. Displaced people at international borders are reportedly stuck in lines 15 km-long for as many as three days.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.