U.N. says there may be thousands of Ukrainian deaths unaccounted for

Vladimir Putin.
(Image credit: Contributor/Getty Images)

More than 8,000 civilian deaths have been recorded in Ukraine due to Russia's war. The United Nations human rights office calls this the "tip of the iceberg," positing that there are potentially thousands more undocumented deaths.

"We have uncorroborated information indicating that the numbers are thousands higher than we have documented and a huge number of those are from Mariupol," commented the head of the United Nations Human Rights Mission in Ukraine Matilda Bogner. Mariupol is a southern Ukrainian city now under Russian control, Reuters reports.

As the war reaches its one-year anniversary, it shows no signs of slowing down. The U.S. and its allies have continued to provide aid to Ukraine, as well as expand its weapon arsenal. The U.N. attributed the most civilian deaths to explosive weapons.

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President Biden also made a surprise visit to Kyiv in support of Ukraine, sparking disapproval from Russian President Vladimir Putin. In turn, Russia pulled out of its nuclear arms control treaty with the U.S., raising concerns about how the war may escalate. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Putin's decision "deeply unfortunate and irresponsible," per CNN.

Deputy head of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that an impending Russian loss could "provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war." He added, "Nuclear powers do not lose major conflicts on which their fate depends."

While Russia hasn't shown signs of elevating the war yet, more civilian lives may be at risk. According to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, the data is "only the tip of the iceberg. The toll on civilians is unbearable."

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