Ukraine’s children are enduring a level of suffering not seen since World War II: UNICEF

At a time when Ukraine’s children should be celebrating a summer break, Russia’s war has instead brought the young victims of the fighting a level of suffering not endured since World War II, a UNICEF official said.

Citing UN figures, Murat Sahin, a UNICEF official in Ukraine, said that on average more than two children are killed and four others injured every day, “mostly in attacks with explosive weapons in populated areas.”

Sahin was speaking at St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on Saturday at an event organized by Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska for the United Nations International Day for Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, which is observed on June 4 each year .

“Hundred days of war have brought devastation and suffering to the children of Ukraine on a scale and on a scale not seen since World War II,” Sahin said, according to a UNICEF statement. “And it has had a profound impact on children’s lives, with ramifications that we must address for years to come.”

Ukrainian children suffering the Russian war
Ukrainian children are suffering on a scale not endured since World War II, a UNICEF official said Saturday. Above: Dmytro Mosur, 32, who lost his wife in shelling in nearby Severodonetsk on May 17, holds his 2-year-old twin daughters as they wait to be evacuated May 20 from the eastern Ukraine city of Lysyhansk will.

Sahin noted that his comments came as Ukrainian children should celebrate the end of the school year, bring home report cards and make plans for summer vacation. But the war “changed everything for them and their families.”

“It robs children of stability, security, school, friends, family, a home and hope for the future,” Sahin said. “And it takes children’s lives and harms their bodies and souls.”

According to the United Nations, almost two in three Ukrainian children have been displaced by fighting

“Families have been torn apart. Schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and thousands of homes have been damaged and continue to be destroyed,” Sahin said. “Conditions for children in areas where fighting has intensified are increasingly desperate. Children fleeing violence are at significant risk of family separation, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

Suhin predicted that the “deep trauma and emotional suffering” will affect Ukraine’s children for many years to come.

“The violence and suffering must stop,” he said. “Each day of war amplifies the long-lasting devastating effects on vulnerable children around the world.”

Sahin expressed his “deepest condolences” to the families who lost children “in this terrible war” and said the child death toll is believed to be “much higher” than the figures that could be verified by the UN

He spoke about the struggles of Ukrainian parents trying to raise their children in a war-torn country.

“The strength of every parent and caregiver in Ukraine and abroad deserves our highest respect,” he said. “Every single day, Ukrainian mothers, fathers and caregivers wake up and go to bed not knowing what the next day will bring. And yet they do their best to protect all children in their care. I sincerely want to thank them for that.”

news week has asked the Russian government for a statement. Ukraine’s children are enduring a level of suffering not seen since World War II: UNICEF

Rick Schindler

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