OHCHR / UKRAINE ARMED CONFLICT INTERVIEW

22-Apr-2022 00:03:14
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has been documenting civilian casualties in the country since 2014. After the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Mission stepped up its work to provide a daily update of civilian casualty figures. The latest figures – released on 21 April l – recorded 5,264 civilian casualties in the country: 2,345 killed and 2,919 injured. OHCHR
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STORY:
TRT: 03:18
SOURCE: OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 22 APRIL 2022, UZHHOROD, UKRAINE
SHOTLIST
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The first thing we do, we collect all available information on all incidents in which reportedly allegedly civilians have been killed or injured as a result of hostilities. We do take note of all official information which is provided by the state bodies, be it local authorities or national authorities or medical authorities or police or emergency services or any other actor which has this information. One needs to realize that we are not working with figures. We are working with individual incidents, and we try to get the information about individual incident in which a man or woman, a boy or girl was killed or injured in a specific place in a specific situation and from a specific weapon”.
2. Screen grabs, website used to find information
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“We start every morning with checking on publicly available sources of information.”
4. Screen grabs, website used to find information
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“So, we go to all, you know, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels and the websites of all official bodies, which can report on civilian casualties — as I said, starting from local authorities, national authorities, ministry, police, everyone, everyone, and military authorities as well.”
6. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers visit sport complex “Yunist” in Uzhhorod, in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
7. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers listen to the testimonies of an internally displaced person in Uzhhorod, Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
8. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers interview man from Kharkiv in Uzhhorod, Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“So, it’s a comprehensive assessment of all available information. And when we have reasonable grounds to believe that a civilian was killed or injured in a specific situation, then that case goes in our statistics.”
10. Still picture, iInternally displaced persons in sport complex “Yunist”, in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
11. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers interview man in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
12. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officer listens to the testimonies of an internally displaced person in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“Our task is to provide these figures, but definitely we are not doing it for the sake of producing, you know, statistics. We want the action to be taken based on our figures. The most immediate audience is the people who take political and military decisions related to hostilities. And surely, we hope our figures help. Make this people realize that what's going on there now in the Ukraine shall stop. We keep collecting information on the cases which have been reported in previous days, and it’s like a mosaic, you are getting additional, additional information and ultimately, we have a fully comprehensive picture on what happened to civilians. But surely, we hope our figures would also help to design the programmes for remedies and reparation. It’s not only monetary compensation, but all sorts of remedy and reparation to civilians who suffered harm, not only the families of those killed or those injured, or those who became people with disabilities, but also civilians who lost their property, lose their incomes and opportunities for education and for employment. This all needs to be, it’s a sad mathematics, but it all needs to be counted and relevant financial estimates need to be made by those parties who plan this remedy and reparation policies when the conflict is over.”
14. Screen grabs, website used to find information

SCRIPT:
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has been documenting civilian casualties in the country since 2014. After the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Mission stepped up its work to provide a daily update of civilian casualty figures. The latest figures – released on 21 April l – recorded 5,264 civilian casualties in the country: 2,345 killed and 2,919 injured.

Uladzimir Shcherbau heads HRMMU’s work on recording civilian casualties. We spoke to him about how the Mission, currently mainly based in Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, gets and corroborates information about civilian casualties.

“The first thing we do, we collect all available information on all incidents in which reportedly allegedly civilians have been killed or injured as a result of hostilities. We do take note of all official information which is provided by the state bodies, be it local authorities or national authorities or medical authorities or police or emergency services or any other actor which has this information. One needs to realize that we are not working with figures. We are working with individual incidents, and we try to get the information about individual incident in which a man or woman, a boy or girl was killed or injured in a specific place in a specific situation and from a specific weapon,” said Shcherbau.

Most of the civilian casualties recorded since 24 February were caused by explosive weapons with a wide area effect, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.

Over the eight years the Mission has been working in Ukraine, the team have developed an extensive network of contacts and partners who can provide information related to civilian casualties to collect these figures. Analyzing publicly available information is also an essential part of the team’s work.

“We start every morning with checking on publicly available sources of information.”

So, we go to all, you know, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels and the websites of all official bodies, which can report on civilian casualties — as I said, starting from local authorities, national authorities, ministry, police, everyone, everyone, and military authorities as well,” Shcherbau explained.

Another key part of the verification process is interviews with victims and witnesses, including people who have been internally displaced by hostilities.

“So, it’s a comprehensive assessment of all available information. And when we have reasonable grounds to believe that a civilian was killed or injured in a specific situation, then that case goes in our statistics.”

All sources and information are assessed for their relevance and credibility and cross-checked against other information. The daily civilian casualty updates on Ukraine the Mission publishes are based on UN guidelines for recording civilian casualties.

Shcherbau says it is painstaking work to build a picture of what happened, but it is crucial for the victims and their families.

“We keep collecting information on the cases which have been reported in previous days, and it’s like a mosaic, you are getting additional, additional information and ultimately, we have a fully comprehensive picture on what happened to civilians. But surely, we hope our figures would also help to design the programmes for remedies and reparation. It’s not only monetary compensation, but all sorts of remedy and reparation to civilians who suffered harm, not only the families of those killed or those injured, or those who became people with disabilities, but also civilians who lost their property, lose their incomes and opportunities for education and for employment. This all needs to be, it’s a sad mathematics, but it all needs to be counted and relevant financial estimates need to be made by those parties who plan this remedy and reparation policies when the conflict is over.”

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) stresses that the actual casualty figures will be considerably higher, given the difficulties in getting information from some places that have seen intense hostilities, such as Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Popasna (Luhansk region), and Borodianka (Kyiv region), where there
STORYLINE
RT: 03:18
SOURCE: OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 22 APRIL 2022, UZHHOROD, UKRAINE

SHOTLIST:

1. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The first thing we do, we collect all available information on all incidents in which reportedly allegedly civilians have been killed or injured as a result of hostilities. We do take note of all official information which is provided by the state bodies, be it local authorities or national authorities or medical authorities or police or emergency services or any other actor which has this information. One needs to realize that we are not working with figures. We are working with individual incidents, and we try to get the information about individual incident in which a man or woman, a boy or girl was killed or injured in a specific place in a specific situation and from a specific weapon”.
2. Screen grabs, website used to find information
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“We start every morning with checking on publicly available sources of information.”
4. Screen grabs, website used to find information
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“So, we go to all, you know, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels and the websites of all official bodies, which can report on civilian casualties — as I said, starting from local authorities, national authorities, ministry, police, everyone, everyone, and military authorities as well.”
6. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers visit sport complex “Yunist” in Uzhhorod, in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
7. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers listen to the testimonies of an internally displaced person in Uzhhorod, Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
8. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers interview man from Kharkiv in Uzhhorod, Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“So, it’s a comprehensive assessment of all available information. And when we have reasonable grounds to believe that a civilian was killed or injured in a specific situation, then that case goes in our statistics.”
10. Still picture, iInternally displaced persons in sport complex “Yunist”, in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
11. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officers interview man in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
12. Still picture, UN Human Rights Officer listens to the testimonies of an internally displaced person in Uzhhorod. Copyright: Michael Fostik/OHCHR
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Uladzimir Shcherbau, head of the human rights in armed conflict unit, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“Our task is to provide these figures, but definitely we are not doing it for the sake of producing, you know, statistics. We want the action to be taken based on our figures. The most immediate audience is the people who take political and military decisions related to hostilities. And surely, we hope our figures help. Make this people realize that what's going on there now in the Ukraine shall stop. We keep collecting information on the cases which have been reported in previous days, and it’s like a mosaic, you are getting additional, additional information and ultimately, we have a fully comprehensive picture on what happened to civilians. But surely, we hope our figures would also help to design the programmes for remedies and reparation. It’s not only monetary compensation, but all sorts of remedy and reparation to civilians who suffered harm, not only the families of those killed or those injured, or those who became people with disabilities, but also civilians who lost their property, lose their incomes and opportunities for education and for employment. This all needs to be, it’s a sad mathematics, but it all needs to be counted and relevant financial estimates need to be made by those parties who plan this remedy and reparation policies when the conflict is over.”
14. Screen grabs, website used to find information

SCRIPT:
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has been documenting civilian casualties in the country since 2014. After the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Mission stepped up its work to provide a daily update of civilian casualty figures. The latest figures – released on 21 April l – recorded 5,264 civilian casualties in the country: 2,345 killed and 2,919 injured.

Uladzimir Shcherbau heads HRMMU’s work on recording civilian casualties. We spoke to him about how the Mission, currently mainly based in Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, gets and corroborates information about civilian casualties.

“The first thing we do, we collect all available information on all incidents in which reportedly allegedly civilians have been killed or injured as a result of hostilities. We do take note of all official information which is provided by the state bodies, be it local authorities or national authorities or medical authorities or police or emergency services or any other actor which has this information. One needs to realize that we are not working with figures. We are working with individual incidents, and we try to get the information about individual incident in which a man or woman, a boy or girl was killed or injured in a specific place in a specific situation and from a specific weapon,” said Shcherbau.

Most of the civilian casualties recorded since 24 February were caused by explosive weapons with a wide area effect, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes.

Over the eight years the Mission has been working in Ukraine, the team have developed an extensive network of contacts and partners who can provide information related to civilian casualties to collect these figures. Analyzing publicly available information is also an essential part of the team’s work.

“We start every morning with checking on publicly available sources of information.”

So, we go to all, you know, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Telegram channels and the websites of all official bodies, which can report on civilian casualties — as I said, starting from local authorities, national authorities, ministry, police, everyone, everyone, and military authorities as well,” Shcherbau explained.

Another key part of the verification process is interviews with victims and witnesses, including people who have been internally displaced by hostilities.

“So, it’s a comprehensive assessment of all available information. And when we have reasonable grounds to believe that a civilian was killed or injured in a specific situation, then that case goes in our statistics.”

All sources and information are assessed for their relevance and credibility and cross-checked against other information. The daily civilian casualty updates on Ukraine the Mission publishes are based on UN guidelines for recording civilian casualties.

Shcherbau says it is painstaking work to build a picture of what happened, but it is crucial for the victims and their families.

“We keep collecting information on the cases which have been reported in previous days, and it’s like a mosaic, you are getting additional, additional information and ultimately, we have a fully comprehensive picture on what happened to civilians. But surely, we hope our figures would also help to design the programmes for remedies and reparation. It’s not only monetary compensation, but all sorts of remedy and reparation to civilians who suffered harm, not only the families of those killed or those injured, or those who became people with disabilities, but also civilians who lost their property, lose their incomes and opportunities for education and for employment. This all needs to be, it’s a sad mathematics, but it all needs to be counted and relevant financial estimates need to be made by those parties who plan this remedy and reparation policies when the conflict is over.”

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) stresses that the actual casualty figures will be considerably higher, given the difficulties in getting information from some places that have seen intense hostilities, such as Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Popasna (Luhansk region), and Borodianka (Kyiv region), where there are allegations of numerous civilian casualties. These figures are being further corroborated and are not included in the current statistics.
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