HomeUnited NationsRussian attacks ‘a daily destructive pattern’ in Ukraine, Security Council hears

Russian attacks ‘a daily destructive pattern’ in Ukraine, Security Council hears

Concluding his remarks, Mr. Jenča underlined the need for peace as “the current trajectory of escalation of this war is a direct threat to regional stability and international security. Most of all, it is an existential threat to the people of Ukraine.” The wave of attacks has also impacted humanitarians as the already challenging operational environment is further affected by more frequent and bigger aerial strikes.

Deadly trend 

Mr. Jenča welcomed the renewal of the mandates of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for the country.  He reiterated the UN General Assembly’s call supporting de-escalation and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, as outlined in its resolution adopted last February. The deadly trend has continued this month, with daily drone, missile, rocket and artillery attacks reported across the country. The most recent – carried out overnight and into Thursday morning – targeted energy facilities, with some reportedly resulting in casualties, including fatalities. Stressing the importance of their work to efforts towards accountability, he said the UN continues to urge Russia to fully cooperate and grant both OHCHR and independent monitors access to areas of Ukraine that it occupies. 

Nuclear fears 

Affected regions include Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Donetsk.Since March, more than two dozen energy facilities have been destroyed or damaged, including the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, disrupting electricity and water supply for millions.   “We are also witnessing hostilities spreading across Ukraine’s borders, with regular cross-border strikes into the Russian Federation,” he added. 

‘A disturbing reminder’ 

At least 126 civilians were killed and 478 injured in March – a 20 per cent increase over the previous month, according to the UN human rights office, OHCHRAt least 57 children were killed or injured in March alone, double the number from February. “Attacks directed against the wounded and those helping them are prohibited by international humanitarian law. They are cruel, unconscionable, and must stop,” she said. “We are appalled by the increase in civilian casualties as a result of these relentless attacks,” Mr. Jenča said. 

A wider threat 

Continuing escalation of the hostilities will only worsen the already dire situation for millions in the country, said Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy with the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA. Ms. Wosornu upheld humanitarians’ commitment to support the people of Ukraine but stressed the need for more funding.  A 1 million plan for the country this year has so far received just .1 billion. 

Situation will worsen 

As first responders or emergency services rush to the scene of attacks, a second wave of strikes target the same location, killing the wounded and causing the death and injury of first responders at the scene.  Meanwhile, continuing attacks on the port city of Odesa remain a concern, given their impact on global food security.   Ms. Wosornu said recent weeks have also revealed “a particularly troubling pattern in the sequencing of attacks.” Reiterating that Ukraine’s Black Sea ports are an essential component of the global supply chains for grain and other key agricultural commodities, she warned that attacks could undo progress made in stabilizing grain markets and driving down prices.  

‘Troubling pattern’ 

Miroslav Jenča, an Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav in the UN Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, warned that the escalation threatens regional stability, international security and, above all, the people of Ukraine.The incident was “a disturbing reminder of the serious risks posed by this war”, he said, joining the call by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, for “the immediate cessation of such inexcusable attacks to avoid a major nuclear accident.”  Critical civilian infrastructure has been heavily affected by the escalation in attacks, he continued. 

Global food security 

“With staggering levels of food insecurity persisting in parts of the world, safe navigation in the Black Sea and the protection and safe operation of ports and related civilian infrastructure must be assured,” she said. More than 14.6 million people, roughly 40 per cent of the population, require some form of humanitarian assistance.  Most, 56 per cent, are women and girls. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest and under Russian occupation since the early days of the war, was directly targeted in military action on Sunday – the first time since November 2022.  Three people were reportedly injured, and subsequent drone attacks were reported on Monday and Tuesday. OHCHR has verified that more than 10,810 civilians have been killed, and more than 20,550 injured, since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, though the actual numbers are likely to be higher


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