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Powerful images have exposed the heart-wrenching realities of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The United Nations (UN) human rights office has reported 351 confirmed civilian deaths and the Geneva-based office said another 707 civilians were injured between Feb. 24 and midnight on Friday.
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Ukrainian officials have presented much higher numbers.
Russia said Wednesday that 498 of its troops had been killed, and has not updated the number since.
Now, on the conflict’s tenth day, 1.4 million residents are reportedly fleeing the country.
The UN estimates that 12 million people in Ukraine and 4 million people heading to neighboring countries will need humanitarian aid in the coming months.
Speaking Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that his country would consider any third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as participation in the war there, accused Ukraine of sabotaging a cease-fire arranged in two cities to evacuate civilians and even claimed Ukraine’s leadership was calling into question the future of the country’s statehood.
According to The New York Times, Putin also said western sanctions imposed on his country were “akin to a declaration of war.”
Recent photos highlight the human cost of Russian aggression.
In Mariupol, a strategic port in the southeast, Mayor Vadym Boychenko said thousands had gathered for safe passage out of the city when the shelling began.
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Reuters reported Friday that Boychenko said his city is without water, heat and electricity – and is running out of food.
Photos from a Mariupol hospital show parents mourning the death of their 18 month-old son.
To the north, the fight continues around Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv.
Billowing black smoke surrounded firefighters working to extinguish a blaze after shelling at a damaged logistic center.
Photographers captured destruction in the village of Bushiv, about 40 kilometers to the west of Kyiv.
A 40-mile Russian convoy has been stalled approximately 20 miles outside of the city and residents are bracing for impact.
Many of those shown leaving the city – at Kyiv’s train station – are women and children, as Ukrainian men have been ordered to stay and fight.
In the towns of Bucha and Irpin, crowds moved together under destroyed bridges, with Ukrainian servicemen carrying children while crossing the Irpin river.
On a Saturday phone call, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a “desperate plea” to U.S. senators, asking for Eastern European to provide Russian-made planes to help his country.
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“I will do all I can to help the administration to facilitate their transfer,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.