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In Kharkiv, Ukraine, the situation is very concerning


Armed violence reduction | Emergency | Ukraine | PUBLISHED ON May 28th 2024
General view of the south of the city of Dnipro with fields and military fences pictured. October 2023

General view of the south of the city of Dnipro en octobre 2023 | © T. Nicholson / HI

Since 10th May 2024, Russia has been conducting a new offensive in the region. As the security situation deteriorates, humanitarian needs continue to increase.

Constant bombardments, massive destruction of public and private infrastructure, attacks on energy installations: since 10th May, violent fighting has been raging in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine's second largest city.

This new Russian offensive has claimed the lives of at least 35 civilians and forced more than 17,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. And these figures are likely to rise in the coming days.

Civilians are the first victims

Civilians remain the first victims of the massive use of explosive weapons in the region.
On Saturday 25 May, a bombardment hit a supermarket in the city of Kharkiv, killing at least 16 people. A few days earlier, air strikes hit a leisure centre.

As the fighting intensifies, civilian evacuations are becoming increasingly dangerous, which is particularly worrying for the most vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities and older people,  and children.

Displaced people are in urgent need of assistance: food, water, clothing and hygiene items.

In this context, humanitarian aid, including psychological support, is essential, as some of them have already had to flee fighting in the past and may never be able to return home. The long-term impact of this wave of violence on civilians is terrible.

127 tonnes of humanitarian aid delivered and a storage space in Kharkiv

HI has already delivered 127 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including medical and hygiene kits, on behalf of partner humanitarian organisations in the Kharkiv region through its Atlas Logistique unit, which specialises in emergency logistics.

HI is also providing other humanitarian organisations with storage space in the city of Kharkiv to help them get humanitarian aid to the region as quickly as possible.
HI and other humanitarian organisations are continuing to monitor the evolving needs to ensure an appropriate response.

Guaranteeing safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organisations

If some people have managed to flee the Kharkiv region already, hundreds of thousands are remaining.

It is urgent that a safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian NGOs is ensured by the warring parties, especially in hard-to-reach areas, to support the most vulnerable people (including older adults, persons with disabilities and children) unwilling or unable to leave.

 HI reminds parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) at all times. Indiscriminate attacks hitting civilians and civilian infrastructures must stop, as these strikes are strictly prohibited under IHL.

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