Almost 500 Ukrainian women and 68 children have been killed and over 150 children have been wounded amid Russian aggression in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in over two years, Chairperson of Ukraine's Vekrhovna Rada and Ukrainian envoy for humanitarian issues at Minsk peace talks Iryna Geraschenko said at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
"Over the past two years, 495 Ukrainian women were killed in Donbas. Let me mention a young woman, Olena Lafazan, who was killed in an attack on [the Ukrainian-controlled city of] Mariupol while she was trying to cover the daughter with her body. I'd like to mention Klym Klymenko's young mother, who saved the boy, having shielded him with her body during an attack on [the Ukrainian-controlled town of] Kramatorsk in February 2015. Some 68 children have been killed and 152 children have been wounded since the beginning of the armed conflict," she said in her speech prepared for UN Security Council debate on women and posted on Facebook.
In her words, women and children are most vulnerable at this war. According to recent data, there are 1.7 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Of them, there are about 900,000 women and 236,000 children.
Geraschenko also said that 2,130 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been killed since the beginning of Russian aggression, among them were two women. What is more, 1,937 children have been orphaned, 1,213 women have become widows, 1,975 women have lost their sons. Another 142 women have still been waiting for the release of their family members from captivity in the occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
"This is symbolic of the war in Donbas – Russian men have been fighting against Ukrainian women and children, killing and maiming them, taking them captive. Conflicts are always accompanied by outbreaks of violence against women and girls, and sexual violence is used as a weapon of war. We are aware of the facts of human trafficking in the temporarily occupied territories, as well as sexual abuse and exploitation, the use of minors in military actions that are incompatible with human rights standards and are not acceptable in the modern world," she said.