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The United Nations has confirmed 1,424 civilian casualties in the Russia-Ukraine war — a figure that does not include those injured or killed Wednesday in the shelling of a maternity hospital in the strategic port city of Mariupol.
The new numbers released Wednesday cover Feb. 24 beginning at 4 a.m. to March 8 ending at midnight, but it is estimated that the true civilian toll is much greater, according to the U.N.’s human rights office.
The report says that 516 people have been killed — including 37 children –- and 908 injured, as the war now stretches into its second week.
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Most of the killings were caused by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and airstrikes, officials said.
The organization said it “believes that the actual figures are considerably higher” especially in regions that remain in Ukraine’s control.
A Russian airstrike hit a maternity hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol on Wednesday, burying women and children under rubble in what President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an “atrocity.” The bombardment left behind a massive crater at least two stories deep.
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A photo emerged of an injured pregnant woman, her hands clutching her stomach, being carried out on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. At least 17 people were injured in the attack, according to Ukrainian officials.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reacted to the hospital carnage during a press conference Wednesday. “It is horrifying to see the type of barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians in a sovereign country,” she said.
The city has been encircled by Russian forces for a week and has been without food, water and power for days.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that it had documented 18 attacks on health facilities, workers and ambulances since the war broke out Feb. 24.
An estimated 2,155,271 refugees have fled Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, with the bulk escaping through Poland, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported.
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In the face of dogged Ukrainian resistance, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ramped up his attacks with brutal and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, creating a devastating humanitarian crisis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report