Civilian Casualties Rise in Ukraine: 23 Jan 2023


From 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 22 January 2023, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 18,483 civilian casualties in the country: 7,068 killed and 11,415 injured. This included:

  • a total of 7,068 killed (2,800 men, 1,895 women, 180 girls, and 223 boys, as well as 35 children and 1,935 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
  • a total of 11,415 injured (2,504 men, 1,779 women, 241 girls, and 330 boys, as well as 267 children and 6,294 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
    • In Donetsk and Luhansk regions: 9,903 casualties (4,121 killed and 5,782 injured)
      • On Government-controlled territory: 7,723 casualties (3,622 killed and 4,101 injured)
      • On territory controlled by Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups: 2,180 casualties (499 killed and 1,681 injured)
    • In other regions of Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, and Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytskyi, Poltava, Rivne, Ternopil, Vinnytsia, Volyn, and Zhytomyr regions), which were under Government control when casualties occurred: 8,580 casualties (2,947 killed and 5,633 injured)

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes.

OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.

Civilian casualties from 1 to 22 January 2023(individual cases verified by OHCHR)

From 1 to 22 January 2023, OHCHR recorded 504 civilian casualties:

  • 132 killed (48 men, 36 women, 4 girls, 4 boys, as well as 40 adults whose sex is yet unknown); and
  • 372 injured (112 men, 53 women, 7 girls, 8 boys, as well as 13 children and 179 adults whose sex is yet unknown).

This included:

  • 119 killed and 334 injured in 85 settlements in regions (parts of regions), which were under Government control when casualties occurred (90 percent of the total); and
  • 13 killed and 38 injured in 5 settlements in parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions controlled by Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups (10 percent of the total).

Per type of weapon/incident:

  • Explosive weapons with wide area effects: 123 killed and 353 injured (94 per cent);
  • Mines and explosive remnants of war: 9 killed and 19 injured (6 per cent).

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

Since 2014, OHCHR has been documenting civilian casualties in Ukraine. Reports are based on information that the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) collected through interviews with victims and their relatives; witnesses; analysis of corroborating material confidentially shared with HRMMU; official records; open-source documents, photo and video materials; forensic records and reports; criminal investigation materials; court documents; reports by international and national non-governmental organisations; public reports by law enforcement and military actors; data from medical facilities and local authorities. All sources and information are assessed for their relevance and credibility and cross-checked against other information. In some instances, corroboration may take time. This may mean that conclusions on civilian casualties may be revised as more information becomes available andnumbers may change as new information emerges over time. Statistics presented in the current update are based on individual civilian casualty records where the “reasonable grounds to believe” standard of proof was met, namely where, based on a body of verified information, an ordinarily prudent observer would have reasonable grounds to believe that the casualty took place as described.

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