Updated: U.N. rights office says 1,081 civilians killed in Ukraine

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GENEVA, March 25 (Reuters) – The U.N. rights office said on Friday that it had confirmed 1,081 civilian deaths and 1,707 injuries in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, adding that the real toll was likely considerably higher.

U.N. human rights monitors are working to verify reports of additional deaths in places of intense clashes in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv and Donestsk, where the city of Mariupol is located, the statement said.

  • Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said on Friday Russian forces had managed partially to create a land corridor to Crimea from territory in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

“The enemy was partially successful in creating a land corridor between the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and part of Donetsk region,” it said in an online post.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

  •  The northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has in effect been cut off by Russian forces, the regional governor said on Friday.

“The city has been conditionally, operationally surrounded by the enemy,” Governor Viacheslav Chaus said on national television, adding that the city was under fire from artillery and warplanes.

  •  About 20,000 people have answered appeals to flee the Ukrainian city of Boryspil, which is near an international airport, Boryspil Mayor Volodymyr Borysenko said on national television on Friday.

He urged others to evacuate, saying the large number of civilians in villages nearby made it difficult for Ukrainian troops to clear Russian forces from the area.

Boryspil international airport is about 30 km (19 miles) east of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Russia’s armed forces destroyed a major fuel depot outside Kyiv in a missile strike, Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that the strike happened on Thursday evening, using Kalibr cruise missiles fired from the sea. Konashenkov said the depot was used to supply Ukraine’s armed forces in the centre of the country.

Reuters was not able to independently verify Konashenkov’s remarks.

Photo by Ukrainian Emergency Services

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