Nearly 100 Ukrainian children have been killed during the month of April alone, UNICEF said Thursday, and the humanitarian agency estimates the death toll is likely much higher.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi said earlier this week that hundreds of schools across Ukraine have been bombarded by Russian forces.
“In Ukraine today, education is also under attack,” Abdi said. “In February, the school year came to a standstill when the war broke out. As of last week, at least 15 of 89 — one in six — UNICEF-supported schools in eastern Ukraine had been damaged or destroyed since the start of the war.”
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian forces continued the assault on Ukrainian education Thursday night, striking schools in the Chernihiv region.
“Of course, the Russian state is in such a state that any education only gets in its way. But what can be achieved by destroying Ukrainian schools? All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick, and incurable,” he said.
Millions of children have been displaced by the war, and the United Nations estimates that 6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion in February.
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►German industrial giant Siemens AG says it is exiting Russia, where it has operated for almost 170 years. Siemens had been one of the first companies to put all new business in Russia, along with international deliveries to the country, on hold following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
►About 3,000 Mariupol civilians are being detained in prisons controlled by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukraine’s human rights chief said. Lyudmyla Denysova said officials are aware of at least two de facto prisons.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday night said the Russian military has damaged 570 medical facilities and fully destroyed 101 hospitals since the start of the war in February.
“They are cowards, and they try to hide the truth behind missiles, airstrikes and artillery shelling,” Zelenskyy said in a nightly video address to the nation. “Therefore our task is to fight until we achieve our goals in this war: to free our land, our people and secure our security.”
Zelenskyy also said that Russian forces struck the Chernihiv region and hit schools and condemned what he suggested were senseless attacks on the refinery in the central Ukrainian industrial hub of Kremenchuk, on the Zaporizhzhia region and the Donbas.
Contributing: The Associated Press