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The United Nations has said the number of civilian casualties from Russia's invasion of Ukraine has now surpassed the total from the 2014 war in Eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.
UN figures say the 2014 war left 136 civilians dead and 577 injured, while the current conflict has seen at least 227 civilian deaths and 525 injured since Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops across the border a week ago.
Sadly, the UN has admitted that the civilian death toll for the current conflict is likely to be much higher than official figures show as they only count confirmed casualties, Sky News reports.
Ukraine's emergency services say more than 2,000 civilians have been killed so far in the conflict.
Per The Guardian, the Ukrainian government in Kyiv has said Russia is now targeting civilians with missile strikes as part of a 'major psychological operation' to demoralise the people of Ukraine and force the country to surrender.
Explosions have been reported in residential areas across the country, including in neighbourhoods in Kyiv and Kharkiv.
US president Joe Biden said on Wednesday, March 2, 'it's clear' the Russian military was targeting civilians but was 'too early to say' whether Russia was committing war crimes, CNN reports.
According to the UN, launching intentional attacks on civilians or attacks that will cause loss of life to civilians are war crimes.
Many Ukrainians are fleeing from Putin's aggression, with AP News reporting more than a million civilians have fled the country to escape the Russian invasion within the first week of the conflict.
The EU said the number of people fleeing the war could eventually reach as high as four million.
Most of the refugees have escaped the war by crossing Ukraine's border with Poland, while other groups have crossed the border into neighbouring countries Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
According to BBC News some groups of refugees have even gone to Russia and Belarus.
Ukrainian refugees who escape to a European Union country are expected to be granted the right to live and work in any EU member state for at least three years.
UN estimates suggest that in addition to more than a million people fleeing Ukraine, at least 160,000 have been 'internally displaced', meaning they have lost their homes but are still within their own country.
The EU estimates that up to seven million people in Ukraine could become internally displaced as the war continues.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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