Caritas Australia’s network partners in Europe are calling for international humanitarian law to be respected and for civilians to be protected following new missile attacks and airstrikes in Ukraine.
Explosions were reported in the capital Kyiv, as well as Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in Ukraine’s west, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east. This is the worst shelling since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Scores of civilians have been killed and injured and civilian infrastructure damaged, including water, communication and electricity supplies.
Caritas Ukraine is one of many aid agencies in Ukraine that have called for respecting international humanitarian law and protecting civilians and civilian objects from the ongoing hostilities.
“Those affected by these strikes were ordinary people trying to go about their everyday lives: parents taking children to school, people on their way to work,” said Caritas Ukraine president Tetiana Stawnychy.
“The strikes have made an already difficult humanitarian situation more acute, as the country prepares for what promises to be a difficult winter in the coming months.”
Sébastien Dechamps, Caritas International Belgium’s emergency aid coordinator is in western Ukraine, close to the border with Slovakia. He expressed concern for children in the region.
“There are thousands of internally displaced people in this area. The Caritas agencies have programs to take care of orphans and small children, to help heal the trauma that they have gone through.
“They are trying to implement psychosocial work, to help children to overcome what they have been carrying with them for six months. But now, with this recent shelling, schools and other services have been shut down, so there is a feeling of being back to square one.”
Help deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to Ukraine: www.caritas.org.au/ukraine/