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Ukraine conflict: Civilians killed and injured as attacks on power and rail systems intensify
Photo Courtesy: UNDP Ukraine/Oleksandr Ratush

Ukraine conflict: Civilians killed and injured as attacks on power and rail systems intensify

| @indiablooms | 30 Apr 2024, 03:06 pm

An increase in civilian casualties caused by intensifying attacks from the Russian armed forces against Ukraine’s electric power infrastructure and railway system calls for concern, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) said on Monday.

Since 22 March, Ukraine’s energy infrastructure sustained four waves of attacks that killed six people, injured at least 45 and struck at least 20 facilities. 

Just this past Saturday alone, missile attacks damaged four thermal power plants critical for electricity generation. Two of the plants are located in western Ukraine, far from the frontline.

Previous reports from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also noted the attacks had damaged power and water supplies, which disrupted critical services necessary for children’s care.

Danielle Bell, Head of Mission at HRMMU, said, “These attacks have caused civilian deaths, and they also jeopardise essential services such as power generation and rail transport, further compounding the risks and harm affecting the civilian population of Ukraine.”

Attacks on railways

Recent attacks on Ukraine’s railway system have claimed the lives of at least 11 civilians and injured dozens in regions like Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Cherkasy.

Those killed in the attacks were railway and power station workers who were either in or near the vicinity.

“Attacks on the railway system threaten a key mode of transportation that people in Ukraine depend on for personal travel and transport of essential goods, particularly given the restriction on all air traffic and limited access to seaports,” Ms. Bell said.

Power and water supply affected

Within the last week, Ukrainian railway facilities saw three attacks, leaving civilians dead and injured. On 25 April, a missile strike killed three railway employees and injured four in Udachne in Donetsk.

That same day, several other employees were injured in a missile attack on a railway facility in Smila, located in the Cherkasy region.

In Balakliia in the Kharkiv region, 11 people were injured in a missile attack that caused damage to the railway station and a train that had just arrived. Eight more people also lost their lives due to railway attacks in Synelnykove and Dnipro.

HRMMU added that power outages frequently occurred in the immediate aftermath of attacks on energy infrastructure, affecting millions across the country and also leading to interruptions to the water supply.

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