Eastern Ukraine remains the centre of hostilities, while airstrikes and missile attacks continue to be reported in multiple oblasts in Ukraine.
Humanitarian conditions deteriorate while needs grow, primarily in southern and eastern Ukraine, with widescale disruptions to electricity, gas and water supplies.
Municipal authorities and the World Health Organization warn of the potential outbreak of diseases, including cholera, in Mariupol due to unsanitary conditions.
As of 12 May, the UN and humanitarian partners have reached over 6.4 million people in need across Ukraine.
Over 5.7 million people received food assistance and 1.5 million health-related support from the UN and humanitarian partners since 24 February.
Situation Overview as of 12 p.m. on 18 May
General humanitarian situation. Intense fighting continued in eastern Ukraine throughout the reporting period, especially in Luhanska oblast (east), while airstrikes and missile attacks were reported almost daily in several oblasts across the country. On 17-18 May, hostilities in Luhanska oblast were reported to move closer to its administrative centre – Sievierodonetsk. It was also reported that at least four civilians had been killed and one injured and that there had been more significant damage to civilian housing and infrastructure. While Luhanska oblast has been the most affected by hostilities, active fighting and air attacks have also been reported in eastern Donetska and Kharkivska oblasts. Throughout the week, there were also reports of airstrikes elsewhere, often hitting infrastructure but also residential areas and resulting in civilians being killed and injured. Namely, the strikes reportedly affected an oil refinery in Poltavska oblast (centre), residential homes in Zaporizka oblast (south-east), the energy infrastructure in Dnipropetrovska oblast (centre), a residential building, kindergarten and other buildings in Sumska oblast (north-east), residential areas of Chernihivska oblast (north), railway infrastructure in Lvivska oblast (west) and a private house in Mykolaivska oblast (south).
Meanwhile, in southern Khersonska oblast, humanitarian needs are growing – especially for medicines, food and cash – as active hostilities have been reported as continuing around Vysokopilska hromada, south of the Government-controlled Kryvyi Rih (Dnipropetrovska oblast). On 14 May, a gas pipeline was reportedly damaged in Stanislav (west of Kherson city).
Moreover, on 16 May, Kherson Mayor said that medicines would run out in two weeks, adding that oxygen supplies were also limited. The oblast authorities have reported disruptions to electricity and water supplies as well as to cell phone and online services in both Government-controlled and non-Government-controlled areas (GCA and NGCA), and that food is running low in some places. The need for cash and medicines is also widespread. The authorities have also been calling for safe corridors to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid. Reportedly, however, residents have only limited freedom of movement within the oblast and are not allowed to leave new NGCA areas, while volunteers with humanitarian aid are not allowed to enter. There was a report on 17 May of some civilians waiting for several days in a kilometres-long queue of vehicles – trying to drive north out of Khersonska oblast. There have also been reports of evacuation efforts in other areas.
Civilian casualties and damages to civilian infrastructure. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as of 17 May, the number of civilian casualties stands at 7,964 in the country: 3,778 killed and 4,186 injured, according to OHCHR. More than half (4,326) of all casualties so far verified have been recorded in GCA and NGCA of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts. The actual number of civilian casualties across Ukraine is likely considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed, and many reports are still pending corroboration.Separately, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General reported on 13 May that there had so far been over 640 child casualties of the war, including 226 children reportedly killed and another 420 injured. The Prosecutor General’s Office said that most of the casualties, 139, had been registered in Donetska oblast, followed by 116 in Kyivska (north) and 99 in Kharkivska oblasts and that there were also significant numbers in Chernihivska (north), Khersonska, Luhanska, Mykolaivska (south) and Zaporizka (south-east) oblasts. The UN conducts independent verification of civilian casualties, which might differ from the number of civilian casualties reported by the UN Member States.
The Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) in Donetska oblast (NGCA), on its official website, maintains a database of war damage, listing daily damage to infrastructure and social facilities in the NCGA of Donetska oblast, including medical facilities, educational institutions, social and production facilities (i.e., garages, workshops, administrative offices, grocery stores, etc.), critical infrastructure facilities (i.e., hazardous materials storage, transformer sub-stations, water storage, etc.), and electricity, water and gas supply facilities. The records show damage recorded since the beginning of 2022, however, the figures have not been independently verified by the UN. As reported, the majority of the damage has occurred since 24 February. Since the beginning of 2022, as of 18 May, 3,466 residential buildings have been damaged. In addition, 729 civil infrastructure facilities have been affected, including nearly 320 electricity, water and gas supply facilities, over 210 social and production facilities, more than 120 educational institutions, over 40 medical facilities and more than 25 critical infrastructure facilities.
The London-based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reported on 12 May that at least three people had been killed and 19 others injured in an airstrike that hit a school in Novhorod-Siverskyi (Chernihivska oblast). Reportedly, several air-fired missiles hit a school building and a boarding school, and the resulting fire also damaged an administrative building and a number of houses. The report also cites Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, saying that, while it has been claimed that only military facilities are being targeted, the war is deeply impacting the country’s children. Overall, according to theUkrainian Ministry of Education and Science, as of 18 May, 1,604 education facilities across the country have been damaged and 144 destroyed.