At least 21 children have been killed or injured in just a week in an uptick of violence across Ukraine, Save the Children said today.

Four children have been killed and a further 17 injured in just six days in a tragic escalation of attacks on civilian areas in Ukraine. Today alone, 18 people, including children, were reportedly killed and others injured in missile attacks on an apartment building and a resort in Odesa, southern Ukraine. 

These deaths and injuries are a grave reminder that children are bearing the brunt of this conflict. The impact of explosive weapons on children is devastating, robbing families of their hopes and profoundly altering the direction of a child’s life. For the children injured in these incidents, their suffering may last for years. Other children may have witnessed their peers or loved ones lose their lives. The widespread and unpredictable nature of this conflict could leave children struggling with their mental health.

Even before this week of violence, at least 330 children have been killed and almost 500 injured since the escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine on 24 February. These numbers are likely an underestimate.

Save the Children Ukraine Country Director Pete Walsh, said:  

 Attacks on civilian infrastructure, including homes where children are sleeping in the middle of the night, are beyond condemnable. This war shows no sign of easing – instead it is spiraling out of control. 

“Save the Children condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms and calls for the respect of international humanitarian law and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from attack.”

Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering humanitarian aid to children and their families. It is now supporting refugee families across Europe and helping children to get access to the services they need. With the help of local partners, Save the Children is providing shelter, food, cash, fuel, psychological support, baby and hygiene kits to displaced families. It is on the ground, distributing essential household kits to families affected by the conflict.