The UN and the war in Ukraine: key information

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What is happening in Ukraine, key information

Aggression against Ukraine

  • On the night of 23 to 24 February 2022, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine. The United Nations considers this attack to be a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. It is contrary to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  • On 25 February, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Amin Awad of Sudan as Assistant Secretary-General to serve as United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.
  • On 28 February, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened an investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted on Wednesday 2 March a resolution deploring the “aggression” committed by Russia against Ukraine (141 votes in favour, 5 against and 35 abstentions).
  • The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on 4 March calling for the “swift and verifiable” withdrawal of Russian troops and Russian-backed armed groups from the entire territory of Ukraine.
  • The UN Human Rights Council decided on 5 March to urgently establish an independent international commission of inquiry following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
  • On 16 March the International Court of Justice ordered Russia to immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine.
  • On Thursday 24 March, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly demanded civilian protection and humanitarian access in Ukraine, while also criticizing Russia for creating a “dire” humanitarian situation (140 votes in favour, 5 against and 38 abstentions).
  • On 30 March the United Nations appointed three human rights experts to investigate possible violations of international law committed during the conflict in Ukraine.
  • In a statement on Monday, 4 April, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said she was horrified by the images of people lying dead on the streets and in improvised graves in the town of Bucha. It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure independent and effective investigations into what happened in Bucha.
  • On 7 April, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council. The resolution received a two-thirds majority of those voting, minus abstentions, in the 193-member Assembly, with 93 nations voting in favour and 24 against.
  • End of April, the UN Secretary-General visited Russia and Ukraine.
  • On 26 April 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a new resolution calling on the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify the use of the veto.
  • The UN Security Council adopted a statement on 6 May 2022 in which it strongly supports the Secretary-General’s efforts to achieve a peaceful solution in Ukraine. The Secretary-General welcomed the fact that for the first time the Security Council is speaking with one voice for peace in Ukraine.
  • On 12 May, the Human Rights Council approved a resolution at a special session on Ukraine calling for an investigation into the atrocities alleged against Russian occupation troops.
  • The Director-General of UNESCO has condemned the murder of French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff on 30 May while covering an evacuation of civilians near the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk for bfmTV.
  • As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its 100th day on Friday, 3 June 2022, António Guterres marked the grim milestone with a renewed call for an immediate end to the violence.
  • On 6 June, Pramila Patten, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict told the Security Council that allegations of sexual violence by Russian troops in Ukraine are mounting.
  • On 10 June, the UN human rights office, OHCHR condemned the death sentence handed down to three foreign fighters in Ukraine by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • On 21 June, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Wairimu Nderitu, briefed the Security Council on Tuesday and reinforced concerns over “the heightened risks” of sexual violence, and trafficking, which are “significantly impacting women and children”.
  • The United Nations Coordinator for Ukraine estimated on the 100th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that the war will have no winner.
  • On 28 June, the UN political and peacebuilding chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the Security Council that the “horrific conflict” in Ukraine shows no signs of abating. She pointed out that since her last update on 5 April, “countless Ukrainian civilians” have been killed in indiscriminate attacks, cities and towns levelled, and much of the country’s arable land “horribly disfigured by shelling”.
  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights said at the opening of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council that the war in Ukraine will leave traces for generations and that a global food, energy and financial crisis threatens the planet.
  • An agreement on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea amid the ongoing war was signed on 22 July. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the signing ceremony in Istanbul, Türkiye, that it is “a beacon of hope” in a world that desperately needs it.
  • UN Secretary-General has welcomed the departure of the first ship from the Ukrainian port of Odesa, carrying grain under the landmark deal signed by Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye, overseen by the UN.
  • The Secretary-General will be in Lviv, Ukraine, on 18 August to participate in a trilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He will then travel to Odessa, one of three ports used as part of the “Black Sea Grain” initiative (agreement on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea) is located.
  • On 23 August, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) expressed concern after photos and videos released on social media appeared to show metal cages being built in the philharmonic hall in the devastated Ukrainian city of Mariupol, apparently to house prisoners of war (POWs) during an upcoming “show trial”.
  • Six months ago, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, violating the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the UN Charter. Europe faced the fastest forced population movements since the Second World War, with nearly one third of Ukraine’s population – roughly 14 million people – being forced to flee their homes.
  • Secretary-General’s remarks to the Security Council, six months since Russia’s 24th of February invasion of Ukraine.
  • On 7 September 2022, the UN political and peacebuilding chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, updated the Security Council, saying that 5,718 people have been killed, including 372 children. Ukrainian refugees recorded across Europe have surpassed seven million.
  • On 9 September, the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has said that nearly 5,800 people have been killed in the conflict in Ukraine and the situation of prisoners of war in Russian-held areas is “worrying”
  • In Geneva, on Friday 16 September, the UN human rights office (OHCHR), said that UN investigators already in Ukraine would be looking to see if those buried in mass graves discovered in the Ukrainian city of Izyum were soldiers or civilians and whether they had died in hostilities or from natural causes.
  • On 29 September, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that Russia’s plan to annex four occupied regions in Ukraine would be an illegal move, a violation of international law, and should be condemned.
  • On 30 September, Russia vetoed Security Council resolution condemning attempted annexation of Ukraine regions.
  • On 10 October, large-scale missile attacks by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on cities across Ukraine reportedly resulted in widespread damage to civilian areas and led to dozens of people being killed and injured.
  • On 12 October, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution by a large majority, calling on countries not to recognise the four regions of Ukraine which Russia has claimed, following so-called referendums held in September, and demanding that Moscow reverse course on its “attempted illegal annexation”. The results were 143 Member States in favour, with five voting against, and 35 abstentions.
  • On 21 October, the UN’s political affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, briefed the Security Council alongside the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown. They said that Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine will lead to more suffering worldwide and must be reversed and that with each passing day, UN teams on the ground were facing “new dimensions to the emergency.”
  • On 30 October, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed deep concern at Russia’s decision to suspend its involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal set up to reintroduce vital food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
  • On 14 November, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that calls for Russia to pay war reparations to Ukraine, as ambassadors met to resume their emergency special session devoted to the conflict. Ninety-four countries voted in favour of the resolution, and 14 against, while 73 abstained
  • On 15 November, Matilda Bogner, Head of the UN’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, said that, prisoners of war on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine have told UN human rights investigators that they have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment while held captive.
  • On 16 November, UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council, said that some of the most intense bombardments in the war in Ukraine have occurred in recent days and warned against the risk of escalation and spillover into other countries. Two people were killed on 15 November when a missile struck a grain silo in the tiny Polish village of Przewodow.
  • On 17 November, the UN Secretary-General welcomed the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine.
  • Addressing the Security Council on 23 November 2022, Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, warned of the devastation caused by Russia’s “relentless attacks” against civilians and critical infrastructure across Ukraine.
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on 25 November 2022 expressed his shock at the unabated human suffering in Ukraine, as highlighted by continuing Russian missile and drone strikes against critical infrastructure on a broad scale, and recent allegations of summary executions of prisoners of war (POWs).
  • On 4 December 2022, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk began a four-day official visit to Ukraine, at the invitation of the Government. During his visit, the High Commissioner visited Kyiv and neighbouring areas, Kharkiv, Izium and Uzhhorod. Speaking in the capital, Kyiv, Volker Türk said that the scale of the damage and destruction that he had seen in Izium was “shocking”.
  • On 6 December 2022, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council that the widespread death, destruction, displacement, and suffering” taking place since the invasion of 24 February, and the challenges that the continuing violence and winter weather were exacerbating.
  • The UN Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) chief, Izumi Nakamitsu, briefed the Security Council on the issue of “supplies of lethal weapons to Ukraine and their consequences”.
  • Speaking in Kyiv on 15 December 2022, at the end of a four-day official visit, Martin Griffiths described the deadly threat from daily artillery attacks on the southern port city of Kherson. More than 18 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid, some 7.83 million have fled the country and 6.5 million are internally displaced.
  • On 3 January 2023, Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq told journalists that intensified violence in different regions of the war-torn country caused “multiple civilian casualties”, which included children and journalists. “Ukrainian authorities reported more than 50 civilian casualties on December 31st alone”.
  • On 13 January 2023, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on Ukraine. She said the grave damage the war has caused would pale in comparison with the consequences of a prolonged conflict.
  • On 16 January 2023, the Secretary-General strongly condemned a deadly missile strike on a residential building in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine, in which at least 40 people were killed, with many more wounded and dozens missing.
  • On 24 January, the UN agency for children, UNICEF, said that eleven months of war in Ukraine have disrupted education for more than five million boys and girls.
  • On 25 January, the historic centre of the port city of Odesa, in Ukraine, has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, 11 months since the full-scale Russian invasion. This decision recognizes the outstanding universal value of the site and the duty of all humanity to protect it.
  • On 15 February, almost a year since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UN appealed for $5.6 billion to help millions of people affected inside the war-torn country and beyond.
  • Ms. Alexandra Xanthaki, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; Ms. Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education; Ms. Nazila Ghanea, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or beliefexpressed deep concern at the continued denigration of the history and identity of Ukrainian people as a justification for war and hatred.
  • On 23 February, the UN General Assembly called for ending the war in Ukraine and demanded Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the country, in line with the UN Charter.
  • One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nearly half the population – roughly 18 million people – need humanitarian aid and protection.
  • One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraineroughly 18 million people need humanitarian aid and protection. The conflict has erased 30 per cent of pre-war jobs, millions are displaced, and nearly 40 per cent of the population of Ukraine require aid and protection. Almost 10 million people, including 7.8 million children, are at risk of acute post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • During the Security Council meeting on 24 February, Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba pointed to clear violations of Charter provisions related to acts of aggression. He called for creating a special tribunal with jurisdiction over the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
  • On 8 March, the Secretary-General visited Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. He assured President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the United Nations “will continue to seek solutions and a just peace for the people of Ukraine, and the world.”
  • On 10 March, UN-appointed independent human rights experts said they were “deeply disturbed” by reports of the systematic recruitment of prisoners across Russia by the private military contractor known as the Wagner Group, which is playing a major role in the fighting in Ukraine.
  • On 13 March, the UN Secretary-General has confirmed that the UN will do everything possible to preserve the integrity of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and ensure its continuity. The Black Sea Grain Initiative is crucial for global food security, it has allowed the exports of 24 million Metric Tonnes of grain, and over 1,600 secure vessel voyages through the Black Sea, with 55 per cent of food exports going to developing countries.
  • On 16 March, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has released its first report to the Human Rights Council. The report says that Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in various regions of Ukraine, many of which amount to war crimes.
  • On 17 March, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, in connection with alleged war crimes concerning the deportation and “illegal transfer” of children from occupied Ukraine.
  • On 18 March, the Black Sea Grain Initiative was extended. This UN-brokered deal was due to expire the day. This initiative aimes at supplying markets with food and fertilizer amid global shortages and rising prices, exacerbated by the Ukraine war.
  • On 24 March, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) released two new reports, on the treatment of prisoners of war and on the overall human rights situation in Ukraine.
  • Nearly $7 billion will be required over the next decade to rebuild the cultural sector in war-ravaged Ukraine, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, said during a visit to the country.
  • On 25 April, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) called on authorities in Russia and Ukraine to investigate, and publicly condemn recently surfaced audio online, which appears to confirm the summary execution of prisoners of war (POWs), as well as a threat to take no further prisoners on the battlefield.
  • The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Ukraine issued a statement on 4 May saying he and colleagues were “appalled and saddened” at the series of airstrikes and attacks, which have killed and injured dozens of civilians there.
  • UNESCO launched a new programme to train Ukrainian photojournalists to report on cultural life in the context of the war, and to document damages to over 50 cultural heritage sites.
  •  On 17 May, Russia confirmed that it will continue to take part in the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative for a further 60 days.
  • UN humanitarians are ramping up assistance in the aftermath of the Kakhovka dam disaster in Ukraine, as some 17,000 people find themselves in the critical zone at risk of flooding, and clean water has become scarce. Destruction of Nova Kakhovka dam also sparks nuclear safety.
  • The destruction of the Kakhovka dam on 6 June has impacted water supplies, sanitation and sewage systems, in addition to health services. Up to 700,000 people could be facing water shortages, on top of the impacts of the ongoing conflict.
  • On 18 June, Humanitarian Coordinator Denise Brown said that Russia has so far declined requests to help residents of Russian-controlled areas of southern Ukraine impacted by the breach of the Kakhovka dam.
  • On 27 June, UN Human Rights Office issued a report: Detention of civilians in the context of the armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, 24 February 2022 – 23 May 2023.
  • On 28 June, Human Rights Council President appointed Vrinda Grover to serve as member of Ukraine commission of inquiry.
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine reached the 500-day mark on Friday, 7 July 2023. The UN’s Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has confirmed that more than 9,000 civilians, including over 500 children, have been killed since then, though the real number could be much higher.
  • For almost a year, the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative agreed by Russia, Türkiye, and Ukraine has allowed millions of tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs to leave Ukraine’s ports.
  • The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam is possibly the most significant incident of damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
  • On 12 July, UN human rights chief Volker Türkaddressing 53rd session of the Human Rights Council, said that the continuing lack of accountability for the violations and abuses committed by Russian forces in Ukraine is deeply concerning.
  • Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday, 20 July, strongly condemned Russian attacks on Odesa and other Ukrainian ports in recent days, following Moscow’s decision to withdraw from the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative earlier this week.
  • On 19 August, Humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, in her statement following an attack that hit the centre of Chernihiv, condemned this repeated pattern of Russian strikes on populated areas of Ukraine, causing deaths, massive destruction and soaring humanitarian needs.
  • On 23 August, Humanitarian Coordinator Denise Brown condemned a new wave of massive attacks that left behind a path of destruction and death across Ukraine.
  • On 24 August, Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, briefed the Security Council, which also coincided with the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. She highlighted “unimaginable” human suffering due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as the war hit its somber 18-month mark.
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Alice Jill Edwards, is conducting her first official visit to Ukraine from 4 to 10 September 2023.
  • On 4 September, UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine published a statement following their visit to Kyiv.
  • The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Riyadh on 15 September, decided to inscribe the sites of “The Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings and Lavra of Kyiv-Pechersk” and “L’viv – the ensemble of the historic centre” on the List of World Heritage in Danger, due to the threat of destruction the Russian offensive poses.
  • On 3 October, UN Human Rights Office published a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine (1 February to 31 July 2023).
  • On 5 October, the small village of Hroza in the Kupiansk district of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region suffered one of the deadliest attacks on civilians since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. At least 52 people were reportedly killed when a missile hit a shop and café.
  • The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine documented further evidence that Russian authorities have committed indiscriminate attacks and the war crimes of torture, rape and other sexual violence, and deportation of children to the Russian Federation, according to its report submitted to the UN General Assembly.
  • On 25 October, Erik Møse, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, made an oral statement before the General Assembly Third Committee.
  • The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) published a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, covering the period from 1 August to 30 November 2023.
  • On 6 December, Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe briefed ambassadors at the Security Council, and said that “In addition to the lives lost, families torn apart, and life-changing physical injuries, the impact of the war on the mental health of millions of Ukrainians will be felt for decades to come.”
  • On 19 December the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk briefed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He said that as of December 4, there have been over 10,000 civilian deaths, including 560 children, with an additional 18,500 civilians confirmed injured.
  • On 29 December 2023, the UN Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms a massive aerial attack by Russia on Ukrainian towns and cities, which left at least 30 civilians dead and over 160 injured. Major aerial attacks causing widespread death and destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure have rained down on Ukraine in the first days of 2024 due to an intense new Russian offensive.
  • On 16 January 2024, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in the country, said in a new report, that there is rise in civilian casualties in Ukraine. “Civilian casualties had been steadily decreasing in 2023 but the wave of attacks in late Dec. & early Jan. violently interrupted that trend”- said Danielle Bell, head of UN Human Rights Office
    in Ukraine.
  • On 25 January 2024, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, told ambassadors in the Security Council that the UN “is not in a position” to verify reports surrounding the crash of a Russian aircraft near the border with Ukraine. Russia stated that 65 out of 74 people on board the military transport plane, were captured Ukrainian soldiers who were part of a prisoner of war (POW) swap. Ms DiCarlo urged all concerned to refrain from actions, rhetoric, or allegations that could further fuel the already dangerous conflict.
  • On 31 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Russia had violated global anti-terrorism and anti-racial discrimination treaties, but rejected most of the charges Kyiv brought against Moscow stemming from its 2014 annexation of parts of Ukraine.
  • On 6 February, briefing the Security Council, Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told ambassadors: “We are no closer to the end of this illegal and unjustified war”.
  • On 12 February, Miroslav Jenča, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Europe at the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), briefed the Security Council meeting and voiced deep concern over the escalatory trajectory of the war with intensifying attacks on civilians.
  • A wave of Russian attacks across Ukraine on 15 February, compounded by hostilities along the front line over the last few days, has caused more civilian deaths and injuries – including among children – and disrupted critical services for hundreds of thousands of people.
  • Reconstruction and recovery in war-torn Ukraine is projected to cost $486 billion over the next decade, up from $411 billion estimated a year ago. The updated Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3) – issued by Ukraine’s Government, alongside the World Bank Group, the European Commission and the UN – covers damage incurred since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion on 24 February 2022 to the end of last December.
  • On 21 February, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk said that Russia’s full-scale armed attack on Ukraine, which is about to enter its third year with no end in sight, continues to cause serious and widespread human rights violations, destroying lives and livelihoods. It has exacted a horrific human cost, inflicting immense suffering on millions of civilians.

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Emergency Humanitarian Appeal

  • On 1 March, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners launched coordinated emergency appeals totalling $1.7 billion to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to people in Ukraine and refugees in neighbouring countries. As of 25 April, this appeal was 70% funded.
  • On 26 April, facing a worsening crisis in Ukraine, the UN doubled its emergency appeal to $2.24 billion.
  • To date, the flash appeal is 86% funded.
  • The United Nations and its partners have provided more than 8.1 million people with humanitarian assistance and protection since the beginning of the war. To date, more than 6.7 million people have received food aid and nearly 1.7 million have received cash assistance.
  • The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are seeking an additional $226 million to prepare for the arrival of winter in Ukraine. These funds will enable humanitarian agencies to begin critical procurement, distribution and repair activities. The aim is to provide assistance to 1.7 million people before the 2022/2023 winter season.
  • Across Ukraine, over 580 humanitarian partners have provided life-critical aid and protection services to 13.3 million people (14 September).
  • On 7 October, aid relief coordinated by OCHA reached areas of northeast Ukraine recently reclaimed from Russian control amid ongoing fighting.
  • On 25 October, at an international conference in Berlin to support the war-ravaged nation, hosted by Germany and the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UNDP Development Programme (UNDP), signed a €2 million agreement that will help restore damaged public buildings in Ukraine and contribute to recovery and reconstruction that is green, resilient, and inclusive.
  • On 14 November UN humanitarians delivered essential supplies to thousands of people in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson for the first time since Russia’s invasion of 24 February. Since February, aid workers have provided critical aid and protection services to some 13.5 million people across all regions of Ukraine.
  • At the end of November 2022, Humanitarian Coordinator Denise Brown visited Kherson and Mykolaiv to assess the humanitarian situation, meet with authorities, and to monitor the response provided by aid organizations. She said that the needs are immense, there is no water, electricity or heat, and food is scarce.
  • On 13 December 2022, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell urged to protect children and civilian infrastructure as almost 7 million children in Ukraine are at risk because of attacks on energy infrastructure that cause widespread blackouts and disruption of heating and water.
  • Humanitarian funding from the European Union (EU), is enabling the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support over 700,000 Ukrainians with multi-sectoral assistance this winter, which is set to be “the most challenging season yet for the country”.
  • On 4 January 2023, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced a $15.5 million initiative to help farmers and smallholders in Ukraine, who urgently need more support to avoid a food crisis.
  • On 18 January 2023, seven-truck humanitarian convoy reached Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region. This community has been heavily affected by months of hostilities and the 4,500 people who remain there depend on humanitarian aid to meet their most needs. The UN said that it aims to increase the number of inter-agency convoys providing aid to parts of Ukraine “close to the frontlines”, in support of work being carried out by local organisations and volunteers. Also, the first UN aid convoy reached the vicinity of the battered eastern Ukrainian city of Soledar.
  • On 2 February, two UN aid convoys have reached communities with acute needs near the contact line in Ukraine’s war-shattered east, a five-lorry inter agency convoy reached the town of Hulyaipole in the Zaporizhia region.
  • On 6 February, Martin Griffiths, the Emergency Relief Coordinator warned the Security Council that efforts must improve to reach nearly 18 million in need in war-torn Ukraine, since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year. Nearly 40 per cent of Ukraine’s population needs assistance, against a backdrop of more than 7,000 civilian deaths and widespread devastation.
  • On 15 February, almost a year since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UN appealed for $5.6 billion to help millions of people affected inside the war-torn country and beyond.
  • UN humanitarians have reached nearly two million Ukrainians whose lives have been impacted by Russia’s ongoing invasion with multi-purpose cash assistance in just the first three months of 2023.
  • On 15 May, UN Humanitarian Affairs chief, Martin Griffiths, briefed the Security Council and called for aid workers to be allowed full access, in line with international law. He urged the parties to strengthen facilitation efforts so all civilians in need can be reached.
  • Humanitarians reached 5.4 million people in Ukraine with desperately needed aid by April this year, including cash assistance, food, health services, and medicines (26 May)
  • UN & partners are supporting more than 180,000 people following the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on 6 June.

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Protection of civilians is a priority

  • The United Nations is making the protection of civilians its priority and will intensify its humanitarian operations in and around Ukraine. The United Nations needs safe and unhindered access to all areas affected by the Russian military offensive. There is an urgent need to establish a safe passage for life-saving medical supplies and health personnel.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly condemned acts of violence against health centres, which are violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. As of 26 February 2024, WHO has authenticated 1603 attacks on health care since the war began.
  • The UN’s head of political affairs warned the Security Council on Friday (11 March) that direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects are prohibited under international law and may amount to war crimes.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced on 11 March the use in Ukraine of Russian cluster munitions that have killed civilians.
  • On 22 August, nearly six months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, UNICEF has verified that at least 972 children have been killed or injured by the violence.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has recorded and confirmed over 10,000 civilian deaths resulting from the conflict since February 2022, including more than 560 children. A further 18,500 civilians have been confirmed injured The actual figure could be significantly higher as reported victims are confirmed. Tens of millions of people are in “potential danger of death“.
  • On 9 September, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) published a special report on the situation of people with disabilities in Ukraine. The Committee reported that people with disabilities trapped in the Russian control zones in Ukraine are reportedly being used as “human shields” by the Russian Federation armed forces.
  • A new UN report developed by gender agency UN Women and the Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group, describes how the war has widened gender gaps in hunger, education and poverty, and has also increased gender-based violence.
  • On 23 September, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine told the Human Rights Council that based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, it had concluded that war crimes have been committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. There are reasonable grounds to believe “an array” of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed.
  • On 18 October, the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, presented its first detailed written report to the UN General Assembly. It found reasonable grounds to believe war crimes have been committed there.
  • On 2 December 2022, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine visited Kyiv. The Commission expressed concern about the devastating situation which continues to affect children’s rights and lives.
  • On 21 February, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk deplored the human cost of the war in Ukraine that has left at least 8,006 civilians dead and 13,287 injured over the past 12 months, in addition to the numerous lives previously lost in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  • UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Bloom visited Kyiv, Irpin, and Demydiv. According to UNICEF, an estimated 1.5 million children in Ukraine are at risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, with long-term implications.
  • On 16 July 2023 the United Nations Human Rights Office in Ukraine recorded casualties among children at 537 with over 1100 injuries.
  • Nearly a year after at least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) were killed in a blast at a Russian-controlled detention facility, justice is still no closer to being served, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said on Tuesday 25 July 2023. 
  • The ongoing attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine are resulting in a surge in humanitarian needs, said Denise Brown, the top UN humanitarian official for the country, urging increased funding to ensure assistance for those in need.

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Europe facing its biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War

  • More than 7.5 million people have fled Ukraine and nearly 7 million Ukrainians are internally displaced. This is the fastest forced population movement since the Second World War.
  • According to UNICEF, every second that passes, a Ukrainian child becomes a refugee.
  • It is important that solidarity with the victims of this war be extended without any discrimination. All people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or culture, must enjoy the same treatment and protection.
  • As of 8 March, UN agencies were present in each of the country’s 24 oblasts and had provided life-saving humanitarian assistance to 2.1 million people in Ukraine.
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) plans to reach 4.8 million conflict-affected people through cash transfers and in-kind food distributions.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has warned that Ukraine could “freefall into poverty“.
  • According to a recent IOM survey, around 28 per cent of the estimated 6.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine fled from the Kharkiv Region.
  • On 23 September UN refugee agency, UNHCR, published a new survey “Lives on Hold: Intentions and Perspectives of Refugees from Ukraine.” It is based on 4,800 responses from people who have fled the brutal war in their homeland and are now living in countries in Europe and beyond. Refugees from Ukraine are eager to work in their host countries but need additional support to do so, and to ensure their inclusion in the communities where they are staying.
  • On 10 October 2022, UN human rights experts expressed serious concerns for migrants from Ukraine, saying a third of the population had fled the country since the war started, and that women, children, older people and people with disabilities had been placed in extremely vulnerable situations.
  • UN Migration Agency, IOM reported that almost a year into the war in Ukraine, some communities are having to cope with the total destruction of their way of life and the towns where they used to live. There are 5.3 million IDPs, internally displaced persons, within Ukraine and we know that around eight million people have also fled to neighboring countries.
  • On 19 May 2023, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that more than 60 per cent of Ukrainian refugee mothers in Poland are experiencing high or severe levels of distress and highlighted the psychological impact of the war in their homeland.
  • On 1 June 2023, Ukraine’s Children’s Day, the UN’s top humanitarian official in the country, Denise Brown, condemned the killing of a girl in Kyiv. Ms. Brown expressed her sympathy to the families of “over 1,500 children killed and injured in Ukraine” since Russia’s full-scale invasion began 15 months ago. She added that the UN continued to follow closely reports of Ukrainian children being forcibly sent to Russia
  • As of January 2024, an estimated 6.3 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine, with 94% of them hosted in European countries—representing 5.9 million refugees. Within Ukraine, displacement trends are complex. An estimated 3.7 million people are internally displaced, and 4.6 million people returned to their area of habitual residence following a period of displacement due to the war.

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Nuclear facilities & Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Nuclear power plants should never be targeted by military operations. Military operations around nuclear sites and other critical civilian infrastructure are unacceptable, highly irresponsible and contrary to international humanitarian law.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is closely monitoring the situation.
  • “Military operations around nuclear sites and other critical civilian infrastructure are not only unacceptable but also highly irresponsible,” Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN’s chief of political affairs, told the fifteen-member Council.
  • The IAEA’s presence at the Zaporizhzya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine would allow the organization to carry out important technical activities in nuclear safety, security and safeguards and at the same time provide a stabilizing influence, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi told the UN Security Council on 11 August.
  • On 6 September 2022, in his briefing to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the need to de-escalate the situation around the embattled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.
  • On 9 September, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, warned that shelling in the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar is putting the embattled Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) at risk.
  • 12 September: IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi reiterated his call for the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. He described the situation as ‘untenable‘.
  • The United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programmes in Ukraine, a senior official in the Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) reiterated on 27 October in a briefing to the Security Council.
  • In a statement issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that that blasts on 19 and 20 November further underlined “the urgent need for measures to help prevent a nuclear accident there”.
  • On 19 January 2023, the head of UN-backed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, briefed President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, on the agency’s “expanding and intensifying activities…to help Ukraine ensure nuclear safety and security at its nuclear facilities”.
  • Evacuation of residents at Enerhodar, where most of staff from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant live, has started. The IAEA is closely monitoring for any potential impact on nuclear safety and security (6 May).
  • On 12 May, IAEA DG Rafael Grossi said Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant has enough essential staff for its current reduced level of operations, but the continued lack of maintenance personnel on-site could negatively impact nuclear safety and security.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to warn of the potential nuclear threat in the Ukraine conflict amid rising tensions surrounding the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). (19 May)
  • IAEA Experts need access to a location near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to clarify the reason for a significant discrepancy between different measurements of the height of the reservoir that is supplying water to cool the facility’s six reactors and spent fuel storage, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (11 June).
  • Targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and threats of use of nuclear weapons, severely undermines trust “within and in our institution”, the President of the UN General Assembly said on 18 July.

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Food security

  • According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the war in Ukraine is jeopardizing global grain supplies and food security.
  • FAO has warned that disruptions to production, supply and delivery chains for grains and oilseeds, and restrictions on Exports from Russia, will have a significant impact on food security. An additional 8 to 13 million people could suffer from undernutrition worldwide if food exports from Ukraine and Russia were permanently prevented by the war.
  • The UN Secretary-General has warned of a “hurricane of famine” and a “collapse of the global food system”.
  • More than three months into the war in Ukraine, the Secretary-General has warned that the war in Ukraine threatens to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake. People around the world are facing a cost-of-living crisis not seen in more than a generation.
  • On 13 July, Secretary-General António Guterres said that a “critical step forward” had been taken to allow the “safe and secure export” of millions of tonnes of grain via the Black Sea. The UN chief described progress between Russia and Ukraine on allowing the resumption of grain exports during UN-brokered talks in Türkiye, as a “ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world.”
  • The first vessel transporting Ukrainian wheat grain to support humanitarian operations run by the World Food Programme (WFP) has left the port of Yuzhny, also known as Pivdennyi, the UN agency reported on 16 August.
  • On 27 August, more than one million tonnes of grain and food items exported under Black Sea deal.
  • As of 14 September, 2.7 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs have been shipped from Ukraine’s ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
  • On 2 November, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed Russia’s decision to end suspension from Ukraine grain deal.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has conducted a nation-wide rural household survey in Ukraine, targeting 5,230 rural households across the country. The analysis is part of a series of complementary assessments that aim at providing a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the war on Ukraine’s agriculture sector and identifying possible programming and policy responses.
  • One year since Russia invaded Ukraine, UN food security experts are more concerned than ever about the global cost of living crisis that the war has fuelled.
  • 11 May: the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative, aimed at ensuring the flow of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer amid global shortages exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, has now allowed the safe export of more than 30 million tonnes, since it first began in July last year.
  • 17 July: The UN Secretary-General expressed his deep regrets about the decision by the Russian Federation to terminate the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative – including the withdrawal of Russian security guarantees for navigation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
  • Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea could have far-reaching impacts on global food security, UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said on Friday 21 July in a briefing to the Security Council. 

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