Ukraine war latest: G7 to crack down on Russia’s ability to sell its gold

 Ukraine war latest: G7 to crack down on Russia’s ability to sell its gold

Children lie on a temporary bed at a relief center set up at Lviv's main train station

Children rest at a relief center in Lviv’s main train station on Thursday, after fleeing with their mother from Mala Vyska by train © Getty Images

More than half of Ukraine’s children have lost their homes due to the conflict with Russia, a UN agency has said, a “grim milestone” that could reverberate for generations to come.

Unicef ​​said 4.3mn children have been displaced in Ukraine, which is more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5mn. Almost 2mn have crossed into neighboring countries as refugees and 2.5mn young people are now internally displaced.

“The war has caused one of the fastest large-scale displacements of children since the Second World War,” said Catherine Russell, Unicef ​​executive director, on Thursday.

“This is a grim milestone that could have lasting consequences for generations to come. Children’s safety, wellbeing and access to essential services are all under threat from nonstop horrific violence, ”she added.

The charity noted a reduction in vaccination coverage for “routine and childhood immunization, including measles and polio.”

“This could quickly lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases especially in overcrowded areas where people are sheltering from the violence,” said Unicef.

In total, more than 3.6mn refugees have fled Ukraine, of which 1.8mn are children.

Ukraine’s general prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that at least 121 children had been killed and 167 wounded in a war in which Russian forces have targeted civilian neighborhoods and public buildings with artillery and rocket strikes.

“In just a few weeks, the war has wrought such devastation for Ukraine’s children,” Russell said.

“Children urgently need peace and protection,” she added. “Essential infrastructure on which children depend, including hospitals, schools and buildings sheltering civilians, must never come under attack,” she added.

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