How Many People Died in Ukraine in the Past Few Months?
If you’re wondering how many people have died in Ukraine in the past few months, you’ve come to the right place. It’s been a devastating conflict, with the warring sides claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. But the true number is unknown because Russia and Ukraine rarely release casualty figures. Some estimates are based on satellite imagery and intercepted communications between the two sides, but the number of actual dead or injured is a tough ask. In a report for the United Nations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has estimated that as of January 2014, there were 15,246 civilians killed, including 7,547 Ukrainians and 4,000 “armed groups.”
The total number of Ukrainians killed may be much higher than these figures indicate, however. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that over 65,000 Russian soldiers have died since the war began. He named Zaporizhzhia as a region of “destruction” in the past two days, which is an estimate based on the number of attacks that have landed there. And the UN’s human rights mission in Ukraine has reviewed the forensic records and criminal investigation materials for evidence of possible mass killings.
While there is no precise way to calculate the number of civilian deaths, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has released civilian death data on a monthly basis. This includes victims of live fire, natural causes, and explosive remnants of war. A spokesperson for the EU Commission has clarified that the numbers are not meant to be exact, but instead reflect both the dead and the injured.
According to a study by the Ukrainian Institute of Demographic and Social Studies, there were over 3.9 million civilians who died during the Holodomor in 1933. Historians agree that the exact number of victims will never be known. Most estimates range from 3.5 million to 7 million. During the Holodomor, millions of Ukrainians died, in part due to starvation.
Many of those deaths were undoubtedly caused by the Soviet government’s massive famine. However, despite the massive scale, the official registers did not give an accurate account of the actual numbers. What we do know is that over 28,000 Ukrainians died every day during the Holodomor. Unlike today, starvation was a well-known and widely discussed cause of death. During that famine, villagers and rural farmers died because they were starving, and there was a widespread use of cannibalism.
Other studies have suggested that the most common cause of civilian death is a missile strike. Several regions, such as Donetsk, have been struck by multiple launch rocket systems, causing a large number of deaths. Those missiles also caused damage to important infrastructure, such as the Ukrainian power grid.
Another study, by the Ukrainian Institute of Demographic and Social Research, estimates that at least 5.5 million previously displaced people have returned home. There are also reports that 41 foreign citizens, including Ukrainians, have been confirmed to have been killed during the war.