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UN Puts Russia on 'List of Shame' Over Deaths of Ukrainian Children

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (C) participates in a ceremony in honor of all UN Peacekeepers, Blue Helmets, who have lost their lives over the past 75 years, in the garden of the UN headquarters in New York, May 25, 2023. EPA/ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE/TASS

The United Nations has put Russian military forces and proxy armed groups on its "list of shame" over the killing and maiming of hundreds of children in its war against Ukraine, according to a document seen by AFP Thursday.

In an annual report on the treatment of children in conflict zones, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "appalled by the high number of grave violations against children in Ukraine" committed in 2022.

"I am particularly shocked by the high number of attacks on schools and hospitals and protected personnel, and by the high number of children killed and maimed attributed to the Russian forces and affiliated armed groups," Guterres said in the report, which was distributed to members of the Security Council on Thursday and seen by an AFP reporter.

According to the document, 477 children were killed in Ukraine last year, including 136 deaths attributed to Russian forces and affiliated groups and 80 to Ukrainian armed forces. A further 909 children were maimed, 518 of them by Russian forces and proxy groups and 175 by Ukrainian forces, the report said.

The report will be released publicly next week.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the UN's decision to call out Russia.

"By adding Russia's forces to his list of shame, the Secretary-General is holding them to account for horrific violations against children," said Jo Becker, the group's advocacy director for children's rights.

"Hundreds of Ukrainian children have been killed in apparently indiscriminate Russian attacks on apartment buildings and other civilian structures," she added.

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