Since the beginning of 2018, 2 children have died in the zone of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in the Donbas and one more death has been confirmed today, along with 10 children who have been injured. The corresponding data was provided by the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug during a briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, QHA correspondent reports.
Noting that today the International Children's Day is marked, Alexander Hug stressed that children are most vulnerable in the context of armed conflict.
He recalled that last year the OSCE SMM confirmed the death of three kids and injuries of 39 children.
“The death and injury of children is most difficult to perceive. Last week was a sad reminder that instead of defending children, they are endangered, traumatized, often wounded and even killed. This conflict led to a large number of tragedies. Often this is the death of children who did not see the day of peace, they were killed during a conflict that began before they were born. In 2017, the OSCE SMM confirmed the death of at least 3 and the wounding of 39 children. This year we have already recorded 2 dead and 10 wounded among the children.”
Hug recalled several recent cases when children became victims of armed confrontation. So, last week a 13-year-old boy and his father were killed in Troitsk, and an 18-year-old boy and his mother were injured as a result of shelling. In Horlivka, two teenagers aged 10 and 11 were hospitalized with shrapnel wounds. SMM observers also confirmed that the 14-year-old teenager was killed and three others were injured when a device exploded on the bus in Debaltsevo.
“The number of victims is growing. This week we received even more reports about children who paid for the intransigence of adults. In today's report, we confirm the death of a 15-year-old girl who died of mine explosion in Zalizne," Hug says.
The Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM also noted that the number of victims among both children and adults is constantly growing. Since the beginning of the year, SMM has confirmed 28 dead and 86 wounded among civilians and many more are on verification.
He focused on a significant number of victims in May - 35 civilians, including 10 dead and 25 wounded.
Alexander Hug laid the blame for the deaths of civilians on the sides of the conflict, noting that all this is caused by failure to fulfill their obligations: violation of ceasefire, lack of mine-clearance of territories and planting of new mines, rapprochement of positions, which provokes aggravation.
Previously, last week the Russian occupiers shelled the Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation in Toretsk, which resulted in the evacuation of 28 children. A few days earlier, the militants fired at a school in Svitlodarsk, Bahmut District of Donetsk region. Children were not hurt, but one civilian was still injured.
In 2017, the OSCE SMM confirmed 486 civilian casualties in the conflict zone in the Donbas: 87 dead and 399 wounded.