24 August marks six months since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022. The day also marks 31 years since Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union.
Six months into the full-scale war, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)esxtimates show that 6.6 million Ukrainians have fled the country, and an additional 6.6 million are internally displaced within the country. This shows nearly one-third of the country’s population have displaced, making it one of the largest human displacement crises in the world today.
Apart from this, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine verified over 13,000 civilian casualties (5,514 people killed and 7,698 injured) since the start of the war, with the actual number believed to be significantly higher. The majority of casualties have occurred in eastern Ukraine, specifically Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which have faced some of the most intense shelling and fighting of the war.
UKRAINE; ASSISTANCE NEEDED
The IOM says that more than 17.7 million people, representing nearly one-quarter of the population, is estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance Including those who have been displaced, suffered injury, or otherwise been affected as a result of the full-scale invasion. “These estimates include the Ukrainians who have remained in their home communities but whose lives have nevertheless been severely disrupted. They are staying in damaged homes, basements, and bomb shelters; they have lost livelihoods and their access to essential services as infrastructure and supply chains have been decimated across the country,” The IOM said.
UKRAINE; THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS
Around 300,000 Third Country National have left Ukraine since the crisis began, with many forced to overcome a frequently shifting security situation, complicated transit routes, and conflicting or unclear information. Persons with specific vulnerabilities, including older persons, unaccompanied and separated children, and persons with disabilities have faced similar hardship
The heaviest fighting continues to be centred in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, though at the beginning of the war, the front line also spread across the north, causing heavy damage in areas like Chernihiv and Sumy, and almost reaching the capital city, Kyiv. Through many parts of the country, deadly artillery and missile attacks continue in civilian occupied areas, putting lives in danger and damaging critical infrastructure. Millions are without access to many necessities for life such as water, food, healthcare, sanitation, gas, and electricity. Destruction of property, infrastructure, and livelihoods continues to lead to displacement, increased vulnerabilities and loss of life. Shelling and other fighting near critical infrastructure, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, risk further catastrophe.
Moscow and Kyiv continue to trade accusations of shelling around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been a focus of international concern that fighting in the area could trigger a disaster.
Meanwhile, Former President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, told a French Television interview that Moscow would not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounced its aspirations to join NATO. He also said that Russia was prepared to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy subject to certain conditions.