The number of civilians killed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is rising by the day. By Sunday, Ukraine’s human rights commissioner put the number of civilian victims alone at 210, including several children.
A seven-year-old girl died in an attack on a kindergarten, there have been fatalities in the capital Kyiv, and 10 members of Ukraine’s ethnic Greek community were killed when their villages came under fire in the south.
Alisa Hlans was one of six people who died when her kindergarten was hit on the second day of the Russian invasion on Friday in the small town of Okhtyrka, an hour’s drive from Ukraine’s north-east border.
Alisa was three months away from her eighth birthday. She was fatally wounded and Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said she died in hospital on Saturday.
Doctors were fighting to save the life of a second wounded child, she added in a message on social media, above a picture with the message “we need peace!”
Several other children have been killed in the Russian advance, including a girl called Polina, who was in the final year of primary school in Kyiv.
According to Kyiv’s local authority she and her parents were shot dead by a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group on a street in the north-west of the capital.
Polina’s brother and sister were taken to hospital. Her sister was in intensive care and her brother was taken to a separate children’s hospital.
The majority of civilians have not yet been named but their stories are equally distressing.
A boy was killed when a block of flats was shelled in north-eastern Ukraine on the second day of Russia’s invasion. The blast started fires in several flats in Chuhuiv, a small town outside Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv.
Five members of the same family died in southern Ukraine on the first day of the war, as Russian troops pushed towards the city of Kherson from Crimea, which they seized from Ukraine eight years ago. Details of the attack were first revealed by the head of Ukraine’s patrol police, Yevhen Zhukov, who said it involved the family of a police colleague.
The circumstances are unclear, but the family had reportedly been trying to escape the Russian advance in two cars when they came under fire near Nova Kakhovka just outside Kherson.
Oleg Fedko had decided to move his family away from the area, but as he was on shift in Kherson his father, also called Oleg Fedko, drove over to help and the family left in two cars.
The patrolman’s brother, Denis, described how he had been talking to his mother when she started shouting that there were children in the car. Then he heard shots ring out.
The children’s two grandparents aged 56 died, along with the patrolman’s wife Irina and two children: Sofia who was six, and Ivan who was only a few weeks old.
More than 450km (280 miles) away, in two villages not far from the Russian border in Ukraine’s south-east, the country’s ethnic Greek population suffered a double tragedy.
Greeks have lived in Ukraine since ancient times and the government in Athens says they are around 150,000 in number.
On Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke of his sadness and anger that 10 civilians of Greek origin had been killed by Russian air strikes close to the port city of Mariupol.
Two villages were hit: Sartana on the outskirts of Mariupol and Buhas some 65km to the north.
There was outrage in Greece at the loss of civilian life and the foreign minister made a strong protest to the Russian ambassador.
The Russian embassy in Athens pinned the blame for the attack instead on Ukrainian forces, claiming that Russia’s “special military operations” only targeted military units and infrastructure.