Ukraine War Day 47: Ukraine Needs Ammo, Suspects Russian Chemical Weapons

Live Updates
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia's placement of delayed-action mines in citizen territory should be considered a war crime. Ukraine's army cleared more than 80 mines found from attics, roofs and playgrounds.
  • The Azoz Regiment, a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine claims Russia allegedly used a "poisonous substance" in the city of Mariupol. The Pentagon has not confirmed these allegations but said it is aware of the claims.
  • The United Nations has confirmed more than 1,800 civilian casualties in Ukraine, warning actual numbers could be "considerably" higher. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reports at least 1,842 civilian deaths — including 70 children — and 2,493 injuries.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky urges South Korea to provide more defensive weapons systems. He added that "tens of thousands" of people in Mariupol have been killed since the invasion began.
  • During peace talks with Russia, the head of the Ukrainian delegation said he will seen a "formulaic solution" to end this war and prevent similar wars in the future.
  • As airstrikes continue in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said it destroyed a shipments of S-300 air defense missile launchers sent to Ukraine. Slovakia, however, has denied the system it transported to Ukraine has been destroyed.

Live updates for this blog have ended.

Chernihiv house
Mykola, a local resident, takes the valuable things from his destroyed house by bicycle on April 9, 2022 in Novoselivka, Chernihiv suburbs, Ukraine. Getty Images

"We came [home] and there was no house," Russian airstrike survivor says

Since Russian troops have withdrawn from northern Ukraine, residents in the city of Chernihiv are returning to their houses completely destroyed.

Nurse Natalya Solomennyk's home was hit three times during the invasion. First, an artillery shell landed, then a bomb and a mine.

She had lived in the house for 36 years.

"I gave birth to my kids there, I raised them there, my grandchildren were born there," Solomennyk said teary-eyed to the Kyiv Independent.

Chernihiv
Larysa and her husband came to remove the rubbles from their destroyed house on April 9, 2022 in Novoselivka, Chernihiv suburbs, Ukraine. Getty Images

Solomennyk's neighbors experienced the loss of their home as well.

Larysa Chuhay said the house her family put all their money into is now a pile of rubble.

Chuhay says she, her husband and two children fled the town when the first bombs landed near their home.

During a trip home to gather additional clothes and items, Chuhay said there was nothing left.

"We came and there was no house," she said.

About 700 people including 200 civilians have been killed in the Chernihiv area, according to local authorities.

Ukraine Needs More Weapons to Unblock Mariupol, Zelensky Says

President Zelensky claims Ukraine could unblock the city of Mariupol if the Armed Forces had more weapons and armored vehicles.

"Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner, to completely destroy the enemy on our land and to fulfill the tasks that are obvious to each of us," Zelensky said. "In particular, to unblock Mariupol."

"If we got planes and enough heavy armored vehicles, the necessary artillery, we could do it."

The president stressed that Ukraine mainly relies on its allies for military weapons. Zelensky, although seemingly appreciative, said artillery help should be coming in sooner.

"I am sure that we will get almost everything we need. But not only time is being lost," Zelensky said. "The lives of Ukrainians are being lost. Lives that can no longer be returned."

Zelensky
Ukainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stands in the town of Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, on April 4, 2022 Getty Images

Zelensky Says Mining by Russia Should be 'War Crime'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia's placement of delayed-action mines in citizen territory should be considered a war crime.

"Due to the actions of the Russian army, our territory is currently one of the most contaminated by mines in the world," Zelensky said. "And I believe that this should also be considered a war crime of Russian troops."

On Monday, eight Ukrainians died and 19 more were injured due to scattered delayed-action mines in Kharkiv, according to Oleh Synehubiv, head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration.

Ukraine's military cleared more than 80 mines found in attics, roofs and playgrounds.

"They deliberately did everything to kill or maim as many of our people as possible, even when they were forced to withdraw from our land," Zelensky said. "Without proper orders, they would not have done so."

The president noted that military personnel is working on de-mining northern regions of Ukraine where Russian troops occupied. Zelensky said Moscow left behind tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dangerous items, citing that thousands of devices are being disposed of every day.

The legal understanding of war crimes has been codified by the Geneva Conventions. War crimes under Rome Statute Article 8 include intentional attacks against civilians and intentional attacks against non-military targets.

Zelensky says he is working with an expert group to prepare a trial for all war crimes committed by Russia.

"We are working on a legal way to bring the occupiers to justice, which will be as effective and as fast as possible," Zelensky said. "Not to wait for decades until all international legal procedures are completed, but to speed up justice. I expect that solutions to such a special mechanism will be presented in the near future."

Russian Parliament Speaker Says 'Traitors' Should Lose Citizenship

A Russian parliament speaker demanded that "traitors" who oppose Moscow's war on Ukraine should lose their citizenship.

"The vast majority of our citizens support the special military operation in Ukraine, they understand its need for the security of our country and our nation. But there are also those who behave with cowardice, with treachery," said Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin.

Volodin said revoking citizenship isn't in effect now but recommends the punishment in the future. It is unlikely to happen without President Vladimir Putin's approval.

"Unfortunately, for such 'citizens of the Russian Federation,' there is no procedure for revoking citizenship and preventing them from entering our country. But maybe that would be good," he continued.

He used the example of Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who protested the war on State television.

Ovsiannikova left her job with the Russian public television channel Pervy Kanal and has accepted a job in Germany's Die Welt newspaper.

"Think what would happen if something like that would happen in the US?" Volodin asked. "Now she will work for a NATO country, justify arms deliveries to Ukrainian neo-Nazis, send foreign mercenaries to fight our soldiers and defend sanctions against Russia."

Russian Delayed-Action Mines Found in Attics, Roofs and Playgrounds

Ukrainian officials report that Russian delayed-action mines have killed eight people, including a 13-year-old minor.

The Head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Synehubiv, says Russian occupiers scattered delayed-action mines in Kharkiv, resulting in eight deaths and injuring 19 people.

Synehubiv said Ukraine's military cleared more than 80 mines that were found in attics, roofs and playgrounds.

"We have recorded the enemy's use of delayed-action mines," said Synehubiv. "They don't go off immediately, only when they are touched by a person or other movement factor. That's why they are even more dangerous. We found them in different districts of Kharkiv - Industrial, Kyiv, Nemyshlyansk and others."

Synehubi advised Ukrainian citizens to be extremely careful, not to get close to suspicious-looking objects.

Over 4,350 Civilians Evacuated via Humanitarian Corridors

More than 4,350 civilians were evacuated through humanitarian corridors Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

About 3,850 people evacuated Mariupol and Berdiansk in their own vehicles or by bus. Only 556 of the tens of thousands remaining in Mariupol were able to leave Monday. The other 3,300 evacuated from Polybirth, Vasylivka, Berdiansk and Melitopol. Evacuees have arrived in Zaporizhzhia for several days -- it has also served as a point for buses departing to deliver humanitarian aid and pick up evacuees.

"For the third day in a row, the occupiers violate the agreement to ensure the passage of a column of buses from Zaporizhzhia for the evacuation of people from Berdiansk, Tokmak and Energodar," Vereshchuk said. "They keep them at the blockade in Vasylivka."

Another 500 civilians evacuated from various cities in the Luhansk region. British intelligence released Monday shows much of the region under Russian control, or contested. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates at least 7.1 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine.

"People continue to flee their homes because of war, and the humanitarian needs on the ground continue to soar," IOM Director General António Vitorino said.

"Humanitarian corridors are urgently needed to allow the safe evacuation of civilians and ensure the safe transportation and delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid in order to rapidly assist those internally displaced."

Austrian Chancellor Not Optimistic After Meeting With Putin

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the invasion in Ukraine during a meeting Monday in Moscow.

Nehammer called the talks "very direct, open and tough," saying his primary message to Putin was that "this war needs to end, because in war both sides can only lose," the Associated Press reports. He told Putin those responsible for committing war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere will be "held to account," according to a statement released following the meeting.

He also emphasized the need for humanitarian corridors to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate civilians. Tens of thousands have remained in Mariupol without food or water, as Russian forces have blocked passage into the city since the beginning of March. Red Cross teams were repeatedly blocked from entering the besieged city for days. Ukrainian authorities report hundreds have been able to evacuate Mariupol in recent days; however, upwards of 100,000 civilians remained trapped in the city as last week.

The Austrian chancellor said he walked away from the meeting without much "optimism" for the war ending any time soon.

"It might be necessary to do it 100 times," Nehammer said, according to the Associated Press. "But I think it's necessary to do it, so that peace reigns again and the people of Ukraine can live safely."

Prior to the meeting, Nehammer said Ukraine needs "humanitarian corridors, a ceasefire and full investigation of war crimes, urging an end to the invasion. Nehammer is the first leader to meet Putin in Moscow since Russia began its invasion on February 24.

Austria, Russia meeting
Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer gestures while speaking during a news conference after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 11, 2022. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo

Ukraine Officials Claim Russian Tried to Use Teenagers as Spies

Russian troops tried to use teenagers to spy on the Ukrainian military, officials claim.

Ukraine's Security Service said in a Telegram post that Russian forces are allegedly offered to pay underaged Ukrainian children to obtain information on the positions of Ukraine's military in Luhansk Oblast and Kharkiv.

"Thanks to the intervention of Ukrainian security forces, the boys did not have time to pass information to the enemy," the post said.

The Security Service is considering "bringing the offenders to justice."

E.U. Adds 21 Russian Airlines to Its Safety Black List

The European Commission is banning 21 Russian airlines from operating in the 27-nation bloc as they do not meet international safety standards.

The Commission added the group of airlines to the E.U. Air Safety List Monday, citing an "immediate safety threat."

"The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness," European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said. "The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards."

Following the 21 Russian airlines banned as of Monday, the E.U.'s black list includes a total of 117 airlines. Vălean emphasized the move is not another sanction against Russia.

"I want to make it crystal-clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds," she said. "We do not mix safety with politics."

European Commissioner for Transport
European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean speaks during a media conference regarding sustainable mobility at EU headquarters in Brussels on Dec. 9, 2020. Stephanie Lecocq, Pool via AP

Mariupol Mayor Says Civilians Death Toll Could Reach 20,000

The mayor of Mariupol said more than 10,000 civilians have died in the southeastern Ukrainian city since Russia began its invasion in February.

Mayor Vadym Boychenko told the Associated Press Monday that the death toll could be more than 20,000, as corpses are "carpeted through the streets of our city."

Boychenko added that Russian forces brought mobile crematoria into the city to dispose of bodies. He also accused Russia of blocking humanitarian convoys to "disguise the carnage."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Mariupol represents the "worst situation" in Ukraine, as the city is "destroyed" and "there are tens of thousands of dead."

A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Monday that Russia has launched more than 1,500 missiles into Ukraine over 46 days of war in Ukraine.

There are reports Monday that Russia may have used chemical weapons in Mariupol.

A poisonous substance of unknown origin was reportedly used by Russian forces against the Ukrainian military and civilians in the city, according to the Azov regiment.

The victims have experienced shortness of breathe, respiratory failure and vestibulo-atactic syndrome.

Pentagon Says Russian Convoy Headed to Eastern Ukraine

Another convoy of Russian forces appear to be moving toward the city of Izuym in eastern Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Monday.

"We believe that these are the early stages of a reinforcement effort by the Russians in the Donbas," Kirby said.

It's unclear how many vehicles are in this latest convoy, but it appears to include personnel, armored vehicles and possibly artillery. Russian forces previously arrayed in the north, particularly Kyiv, have all "left" Ukraine, Kirby said. Some have moved in Belarus and others are beginning move toward the east into Russia.

The Pentagon believes the move is part of Russia's "next phase" of its war, as it concentrates its efforts in eastern and southern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting over the Donbas for the past eight years. Kirby said Russia's new focus is not impacting efforts to move security assistance into Ukraine. Between eight and 10 flights carrying supplies are headed into the region daily, from the U.S. and other countries. However, Kirby warned the next phase could be "more protracted and very bloody."

"We think that they're going to use places like Belgorod and Valukyi as refit stations to resupply," Kirby said. "It wouldn't surprise anybody that they're trying to organize themselves better for a now more geographically-confined and more specific set of target objectives."

As the war stretches into a 47th day, Russia has appointed a new general to lead efforts in Ukraine. Russia is now reorganizing its attack amid failing to achieve its main objectives, including taking Kyiv and overthrowing the government, Kirby said.

"I don't think Mr. Putin needs many signs that it hasn't been going well for him in Ukraine," he said.

Kirby presser
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022. Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Slovakia Denies Russian Forces Destroyed its Air Defense System

Slovakia has denied that Russian forces destroyed its S-300 air defense systems it gave to Ukraine.

"Our S-300 system has not been destroyed," Lubica Janikova, spokeswoman for Slovakia's Prime Minister Eduard Heger told the Associated Press.

Heger also personally denied Russia's report, calling it "propaganda" and "a hoax" on Twitter.

A senior U.S. defense official also told reporters Monday that Russia did not blow up the defense system in Ukraine.

The Russian military said Monday that it destroyed the air defense system shipment provided by an unnamed European country on the outskirts of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the military used cruise missiles to destroy four S-300 air defense missile launchers delivered by an unnamed European country on the outskirts of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine. He said about 25 Ukrainian troops were also hit by strike.

Ukraine Ambassador Says Russian 'Cruelty' Turned Lives of Women, Kids into a 'Nightmare'

Ukraine's Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya called out Russia for spreading lies during the U.N. Security Council meeting.

While he recognized Russia's seat on the Security Council, he said "a more appropriate seat" for the Kremlin's representatives seems to be "at a trial for war crimes committed in Ukraine since today's lies from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's representative predictably contain everything but the kitchen sink."

"We know Russians lie because their lips are moving," he said.

Kyslytsya pointed out that Russian voted against the U.N. General Assembly Resolution "Humanitarian Consequences of the Aggression Against Ukraine" that called for the protection of civilians.

"Russia voted against, thus openly showing it considers civilians, including women and children to be a possible target," he said, adding that the "inhuman cruelty of the Russian invaders has turned the lives of millions of Ukrainian women and children into horrific nightmare."

Investigations into possible human rights violations are underway, Kyslytsya said, despite Russia's "shameless attempt to decline responsibility" by pushing "fake narratives" blaming Ukraine for atrocities in cities like Bucha.

"The world's trust in Russia and its diplomats is as dead as a door nail," he said. "The investigation will establish all responsible and they will be brought to justice."

The safety of women refugees remains a matter of concern, he added, noting the high risk of sexual violence and trafficking they face.

Kyslytsya also accused Russia of abducting more than 121,000 Ukrainian children and drafting bills to have them adopted.

Ukraine set up and special website, safewomen.com.ua, with information how to protect women and children

The Ukraine Prosecutor General's Office is also launching a special mechanism to document cases of sexual violence by Russian soldier against Ukrainian women, Kyslytsya said. He added that prosecutors and investigators are working closely with human rights defenders and NGOs that provide the women effected with medical and psychological support.

He also called on U.N. bodies, including UN-Women and UNICEF, to address these issues and "ensure full-fledged monitoring of the situation."

At Least 1,842 Civilian Deaths, Including 183 Children

The United Nations has recorded more than 4,335 civilian casualties in Ukraine so far, warning actual numbers are "considerably" higher.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports at least 1,842 civilian deaths and 2,493 injures, as of April 10.

"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 said.

OHCHR provides this breakdown:

  • 1,842 killed, including: 474 men, 301 women, 28 girls, and 50 boys, as well as 70 children and 919 adults whose sex is unknown.
  • 2,493 injured, including: 287 men, 216 women, 49 girls, and 50 boys, as well as 134 children and 1,757 adults whose sex is unknown.

As of Monday, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office says at least 183 children have died. Juvenile prosecutors have recorded more than 525 child casualties, 342 were injuries.

Its numbers are also not final, as investigations continue in temporarily occupied and liberated territories as well as areas of active fighting. Among those areas is the besieged city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday "tens of thousands" are dead.

Bucha
A cemetery worker carries a coffin, as dozens of black bags containing bodies of victims of the war with Russia are seen strewn across the graveyard in the cemetery in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine on April 11. Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo

Russia Says it Does Not Wage War Against Civilians

Russia continues to accuse Ukraine of staging and fabricating attacks on civilians as part of an anti-Russia propaganda campaign.

Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said the West aims to discredit Russia's special military operation in Ukraine and ignore disinformation spread by Ukrainian officials.

"The information war unleased against Russia is as intense as the military operation on the ground," he said.

He accused Ukrainian officials of staging events in Bucha and Kramatorsk to blame Russia despite "irrefutable evidence" that Russia was not responsible for those atrocities.

The railway station attack in Kramatorsk was a "false flag operation," Polyansky said, noting that the missile on the scene is not one used by Russia and was launched from an area under Ukraine control.

He also expects videos of "staged events" to be circulated by Western media.
Polyansky said Ukraine has a lack of respect for human rights and compared the "blind radicalism" of "Ukrainian Nazis" to ISIL terrorists.

He said Ukraine seeks to present Russian soldiers as "sadists and rapist."
"Russia does not wage war against civilian populations," he said.

This proves the necessity of Russia's special military operation, Polyansky said, saying "we have no other choice" in order to ensure the future of Ukraine and security of Russia and Ukraine's neighbors.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Ukrainian Children Have Been Displaced, UNICEF Says

UNICEF outlined the situation for Ukrainian children who have fled their countries and who remain at home to the U.N. Security Council.

"I returned last week from a mission to Ukraine," UNICEF Emergency Programs Director Manuel Fontaine said. "In my 31 years as a humanitarian, I have rarely seen so much damage caused in so little time."

He said the attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk was particularly "unconscionable," but only one of many instances of a and international humanitarian law."

In six weeks, Fontaine said nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have been displaced.

"They have been forced to leave everything behind: Their homes, their schools, and often, their family members," he said.

These children, especially those who are unaccompanied, are at a high risk of violence, abuse, exploitation and trafficking. He said UNICEF is working with local authorities to identify and register unaccompanied and separated children.

He added that 3.2 million children have been estimated to have remained in their homes in Ukraine. Nearly half of those children are at risk of not having enough food or access to clean water.

"Attacks on water system infrastructure and power outages have left an estimated 1.4 million people without access to water in Ukraine. Another 4.6 million people have only limited access," he added.

Fontaine noted that attacks continue to target systems that help children survive, including hospitals, residential homes and schools.

"Hundreds of schools and educational facilities have been attacked or used for military purposes," Fontaine said. "Others are serving as shelters for civilians."

He also said UNICEF continues to face extremely difficult operating conditions.

"On-going hostilities prevent us from reaching those most in need in many areas of the country," he said. "We saw that last week in Kramatorsk when our teams were forced to stop offloading supplies and evacuate to safety following the nearby explosions."

He added that he is concerned about the "widespread" presence of explosive land mines across Ukraine, "which expose children to the risk of death and horrendous injury."

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British Intel Shows Areas Under Russian Control

Russia's fight for Mariupol is intensifying as shelling continues in eastern Ukraine, according to British intelligence released Monday.

"Russian forces prior use of phosphorous munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies," the ministry said Monday.

The U.K. Ministry of Defence map shows areas in eastern and southern Ukraine controlled by Russia. The map shows Russian forces controlling cities such as Melitopol and Berdyansk in the south. Outside of Donbas, British intel shows several contested areas in the east, including Kharkiv.

As shelling continues in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the ministry says Ukrainian forces continue fighting back and have destroyed Russian equipment, including tanks, vehicles and artillery. The ministry warns that Russia's use of "unguided" bombs will likely result in more civilian casualties.

"Russia's continued reliance on unguided bombs decreases their ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes while greatly increasing the risk of further civilian casualties," the ministry said.

UK Ministry of Defence map
UK Ministry of Defence/Twitter

U.S. Ambassador Calls for Immediate Response to Attacks on Women

The United States Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield called out Russia's war in Ukraine for leading to the abuse and killing of women and children.

"What is happening to women and children in Ukraine is horrific beyond comprehension," she said. "When men like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin start wars," women and children get displaced, hurt, abused and killed.

Thomas-Greenfield said she witnesses the "human toll of Russia's brutal war" with her own eyes when she recently visited Moldova and Romania.

She called for immediate actions to respond to gender-based violence in Ukraine to protect women and children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

"We cannot wait for lengthy assessment," she said. "This is an active crisis that grows worse by the day."

She reiterated the support the U.S. is providing to help women and children, including aiding UNICEF mobile child protection teams and providing social work and medical services on the ground.

It is also important to begin efforts to prevent crisis like this to happen again, Thomas-Greenfield said. This requires women's voices to be elevated and respected to ensure those responsible for abuses committed against them are help to account and establish pathways for healing and access to justice for victims, she said.

"Women are far from passive victims in this war," she said, adding that they hold a critical leadership role in addressing the impacts of the war.

She added that women are the ones to get Ukraine though this humanitarian catastrophe and must be active leaders to ensure long-term sustainable peace.

Tens of Thousands Dead in Mariupol, Zelensky Says

Tens of thousands are dead in Mariupol, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday, calling it the country's "worst" situation.

Russian forces have blocked the southern port city for well over five weeks, compromising efforts to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid, including much-needed food and water.

"Mariupol is destroyed," Zelensky said during an address to the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Monday. "There are tens of thousands of dead. But even despite this, the Russians do not stop the offensive. They want to make Mariupol a demonstratively destroyed city."

Following his address, Zelensky played a video showing the devastation and destruction across the besieged city. It is estimated more than 90 percent of Mariupol is destroyed.

"I ask you to see with your own eyes what Ukrainians have been seeing for 47 days," he said. "We ask for help to stop this. For the cities of Ukraine and other states to never see such evil again."

Ukraine is now bracing for another offensive, the Pentagon expects Russia will focus on eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas region, and southern Ukraine. Zelensky said Russian troops have purposely sought out teachers, activists, journalists in its attack and more than 930 educational facilities have been destroyed.

"All those who educated and defended the national idea," he said. "Such people were abducted. Such people were killed. Deliberately. It was an order, it was a tactic."

"And this is Russia's war not just to conquer Ukraine. This is only the first step. First, Russia wants to destroy our independence, our state, to tear it apart. Wants to destroy everything that makes us Ukrainians, makes us a separate nation. And then it wants to go further to Europe. Further to Asia."

U.N. Official Calls for Gender-Based Response to War

Sima Bahous, the Executive Director of U.N. Women, addressed the U.N. Security Council Monday.

She called for the war in Ukraine to end and shared stories of refugees who have fled to Moldova.

Bahous said the majority of those feeling Ukraine are women, children and the elderly.

U.N. Women is helping in humanitarian efforts, including working with women's organizations and refugee response teams to support those who were forced to leave Ukraine.

The gendered nature of this crisis must be met with a gender-focused response, Bahous said. This includes protecting women and children and addressing the mental health impact of the war.

She said the trauma experienced from the war "risks destroying an entire generation."

Bahous called for investigations into increasing reports of rape and sexual violence committed against refugees to hold those responsible accountable.

She also noted an increased risk of human trafficking at border crossings. Young women and teenagers are at a particular risk, Bahous said, calling on countries accepting refugees to increase their efforts to combat trafficking and support police who help victims of sexual violence.

"Women are asking to be part of solution," she said, adding that women's participation in peace efforts makes recovery more effective and more sustainable.

Bahous commended the work of women leading efforts in the war, including healthcare and social workers, female members of the Ukrainian Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister Vereshchuk Iryna and the women leading refugee shelters.

She added that it is vital to consult and engage women in these discussions, in order to seen them not only as victims, but as leaders of change.

Over 4.5 Million Have Left Ukraine

Ukrainian refugee numbers continue to climb as Russia's invasion of Ukraine enters a 47th day.

More than 4.5 million people have now fled Ukraine into neighboring countries, U.N. refugee agency UNHCR estimates. More than 2.6 million have entered Poland alone.

Where refugees are going, by country:

  • Poland: 2,622,117
  • Romania: 692,501
  • Hungary: 424,367
  • Moldova: 411,365
  • Russia: 404,418
  • Slovakia: 317,781
  • Belarus: 20,739

*Estimates above provided by UNHCR as of 4/10

Refugees arrive in Poland
Refugees walk after fleeing the war from neighbouring Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Monday, April 11, 2022. Sergei Grits/AP Photo
Refugee map
UNHCR

WATCH: U.N. Security Council Meets on Impact of War on Women, Children

The United Nations Security Council is meeting now under the agenda item "Maintenance of Peace and Security of Ukraine."

The Council will discuss the impact of the war on Ukrainian women and children.