Officials: At least 90 children have been killed in Ukraine since start of Russian invasion

A man named Serhii cries over the lifeless body of his teenage son, Iliya, in Mariupol, Ukraine.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

At least 90 children have been killed and more than 100 injured since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Ukrainian general prosecutor's office said Monday.

"The highest number of victims are in the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolayiv, and Zhytomyr regions," the office said in a statement.

Russia has denied targeted civilians, a claim rejected by Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska. "When Russia says that it is not 'waging war against civilians,' I call out the names of these murdered children first," she wrote in an Instagram post.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The first child reported killed in the invasion was identified as 10-year-old Polina. On Feb. 27, Polina and her family were trying to escape Kyiv when Russian forces reportedly opened fire on their vehicle. Her parents, Anton Kudrin and Svetlana Zapadynskaya, were both killed, and Polina died the next day. Her younger brother, 5-year-old Zemyon, also died of his injuries days after the attack. Polina's 13-year-old sister Sofia is the only survivor. Family friend Tatyana Zolotina told The Independent the children were "sweet, funny, and kind," and "we will never forgive Russia and the Russians for their death."

Alisa Hlans, 7, died when several bombs were dropped on her school in Sumy Oblast. Her grandfather tried to shield her with his body, and died in the attack, The Independent reports. A witness to the shelling said "everyone" and "everything" at the school was "covered with blood." Six people were killed in the attack.

Other victims include three children in the besieged city of Mariupol who died in separate attacks — 16-year-old Iliya was killed when bombs fell on the school near where he was playing soccer; 18-month old Kirill died after his father rushed him to the hospital following heavy shelling in his neighborhood; and an unidentified child was killed when Russia attacked a maternity hospital in the city.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.