NewsOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ukraine: civilian casualty update 20 May 2022
20 May 2022
Date: 20 May 2022
From 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 24:00 midnight on 19 May 2022 (local time), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 8,189 civilian casualties in the country: 3,838 killed and 4,351 injured. This included:
a total of 3,838 killed (1,454 men, 947 women, 89 girls, and 98 boys, as well as 69 children and 1,181 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
a total of 4,351 injured (812 men, 553 women, 103 girls, and 116 boys, as well as 164 children and 2,603 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
In Donetsk and Luhansk regions: 4,500 casualties (2,119 killed and 2,381 injured)
On Government-controlled territory: 3,864 casualties (1,992 killed and 1,872 injured)
On territory controlled by Russian affiliated armed groups: 636 casualties (127 killed and 509 injured)
In other regions of Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, and Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Rivne, Vinnytsia and Zhytomyr regions), which were under Government control when casualties occurred: 3,689 casualties (1,719 killed and 1,970 injured)
Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.
OHCHR believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration. This concerns, for example, Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), and Popasna (Luhansk region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties.
An increase in figures in this update compared with the previous update (as of 24:00 midnight on 18 May 2022 (local time) should not be attributed to civilian casualties that occurred on 19 May only, as during this day OHCHR also corroborated casualties that occurred on previous days. Similarly, not all civilian casualties that were reported on 19 May have been included into the above figures. Some of them are still pending corroboration and if confirmed, will be reported on in future updates. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
Since 2014, OHCHR has been documenting civilian casualties in Ukraine. Reports are based on information that the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) collected through interviews with victims and their relatives; witnesses; analysis of corroborating material confidentially shared with HRMMU; official records; open-source documents, photo and video materials; forensic records and reports; criminal investigation materials; court documents; reports by international and national non-governmental organisations; public reports by law enforcement and military actors; data from medical facilities and local authorities. All sources and information are assessed for their relevance and credibility and cross-checked against other information. In some instances, corroboration may take time. This may mean that conclusions on civilian casualties may be revised as more information becomes available andnumbers may change as new information emerges over time.
Since 24 February 2022, in the context of the Russian Federation’s military action in Ukraine, HRMMU has been unable to visit places of incidents and interview victims and witnesses there. All other sources of information have been extensively used, including HRMMU contact persons and partners in places where civilian casualties occurred. Statistics presented in the current update are based on individual civilian casualty records where the “reasonable grounds to believe” standard of proof was met, namely where, based on a body of verified information, an ordinarily prudent observer would have reasonable grounds to believe that the casualty took place as described.
Ukrainian and Russian language versions of this update as they become available, please visit this page.