Ukraine war in numbers: How many people killed and how many refugees in Russian invasion

Ukraine war in numbers: How many people killed and how many refugees in Russian invasion

Two weeks after Russia’s tanks first rolled into Ukraine, both sides have suffered hundreds of casualties while an estimated two million civilians have fled the country.

The Kremlin on Wednesday claimed its so-called special operation was “going to plan”.

After staging more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, the Russians launched their invasion 24 February, pressing south toward the capital Kyiv from points in southern Belarus and Russia.

But Russia has achieved less and struggled more than anticipated amid fierce resistance from its neighbours.

And with no sign of Russian president Vladimir Putin backing away, the war appears likely to drag on.

The biggest land conflict in Europe since the Second World War has also sparked a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine that has accelerated in recent days.

Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been caught in the crossfire, with entire families killed while trying to flee their homes.

Here, we’ve taken a look at the headline figures from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including how many people are thought to have been killed during the conflict. All figures are correct as of 9 March.

Ukraine civilians killed

Russia and Ukraine have given vastly different numbers for civilian and military casualties since the invasion began on 24 February.

According to the latest statistics verified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday, 516 Ukrainian civilians had been killed in total as of 8 March, 37 of whom were children.

OHCHR said it believed the actual figures were “considerably higher”, especially in government-controlled territory and especially in recent days.

A further 908 people, including 50 children, were also reported to have been wounded, according to the same statistics.

Most civilian casualties were caused by explosive weapons including shelling and missile and air strikes, OHCHR said.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in its assault on Ukraine.

A man wounded by shelling in Mariupol, where a Russian attack severely damaged a maternity hospital (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

Ukraine children killed

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the latest verified figures show a total of 37 children had been killed in Ukraine as of 8 March.

Nine of these were boys, five girls, and 23 whose sex was yet unknown.

Fifty children had also been injured, including 12 girls, four boys and 34 children whose sex was not known.

These include a nine-year-old girl killed by Russian shelling while attempting to flee the city of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, along a humanitarian corridor with her mother and 18-year-old brother.

A six-year-old girl in unicorn pyjamas also died after an apartment block was hit in the southern port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian servicemen carry a baby stroller after crossing the Irpin river on an improvised path under a bridge, that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops designed to slow any Russian military advance (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

Ukraine soldiers killed

While keen to report Russian casualties, Ukraine has not been as quick to mention deaths within its own ranks.

In the first week of the invasion, it was reported that 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russian artillery hit a military base in the eastern city of Okhtyrka, between Kharkiv and Kyiv.

But little more has been reported about Ukrainian military casualty numbers.

Russian troops killed

Ukraine and Russia have given varying accounts of how many Russian troops have died during the conflict.

On Sunday 6 March, Ukraine claimed more than 11,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the invasion.

Three days later, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency, said Russia had likely lost between 2,000 and 4,000 troops so far, although he acknowledged his agency had “low confidence” in its estimate.

But both of those numbers were significantly lower than that recognised by the Kremlin, which was 498 as of 2 March with no updates since.

A Ukrainian serviceman helps evacuees gathered under a destroyed bridge, as they flee the city of Irpin (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)

How many refugees have left Ukraine

The United Nations (UN) estimates 2.16 million Ukrainians have so far fled their country, and the number is expected to grow.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)’s latest figures show that, of the 2.16m total, 1.3mn Ukrainians have headed towards Poland while Hungary has received 203,000 people. Slovakia counted 153,000 across its border, with Romania taking in 35,000 and Moldova 83,000.

Another 236,000 have gone to other European countries, the UNHCR said.

The mayor of Calais has claimed UK border guards have turned away 350 Ukrainian refugees trying to cross to the UK.

It comes after Number 10 announced hundreds of refugees who have travelled to the French town in the hope of reaching loved ones in Britain would have to make a 70-mile journey to Lille to apply for visas, despite previous suggestions that there would be a visa centre closer to the port.

The Home Office has said Ukrainian refugees could take free tickets offered by Eurostar to make the journey from Calais to Lille – but there were no journeys available on the Eurostar website between these two locations on Wednesday.

How many Russian troops in country

Russia is thought to have stationed more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders before launching its invasion on 24 February.

The Pentagon on Tuesday estimated Russia retained about 95 per cent of the combat power it has deployed in Ukraine, accounting for weapons and vehicles destroyed or made inoperable as well as troops killed and wounded.

Those losses, while modest at first glance, are significant for two weeks of fighting.

Security and defence analyst Michael Clarke told Sky News he believed Russia was about to run out of available troops because it had committed about 190,000 to the operation, which were now all in Ukraine apart from a few thousand.

British defence secretary Ben Wallace said the Ministry of Defence’s assessment of Russian forces suggested more than 90 per cent of its forces on the border have now been committed to Ukraine and inside Ukraine.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Desk Team

Desk Team