(CNN Español) — Before dawn on Friday, explosions lit up the sky as Russia attacked the capital, Kyiv, with missile attacks, according to a Ukrainian government adviser. Across the country, Ukraine’s metro stations are serving as bomb shelters as the Russian invasion hits civilian sites.
According to a senior US defense official, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at least 200 missile launches have been observed. These are a combination of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles that are launched primarily from the ground and from the air, he added.
“Some of these missiles that we have evaluated have impacted civilian residential areas“, said. However, the US does not know the number of deaths from these missile launches.
“I can’t tell you right now who the casualties are, and I can’t tell you right now if those civilian residential areas were deliberately targeted. All I can tell you is that we have seen that they have been hit by some of these missiles,” the official said.
For its part, the United Nations is “gravely concerned” about the situation in Ukraine due to the increase in reports of civilian casualties, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said on Friday.
“Civilians are terrified of further escalation, with many trying to flee their homes and others taking shelter wherever possible,” Shamdasani said, adding that “the Russian Federation’s military action clearly violates international law. It puts countless lives at risk.” and must be stopped immediately.”
These are the civilian sites in Ukraine that have been hit by Russian attacks since the Russian invasion began.
On February 24, an apartment building was hit in the city of Chuhuiv, in eastern Ukraine.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said Friday morning that Kyiv had been hit by “cruise or ballistic missiles.” Photos shared by Gerashchenko on Friday showed a Kyiv residential building on fire and firefighters responding on the scene as clouds of black smoke billowed in the distance.
That same day a kindergarten was hit in the town of Okhtyrka and in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border, an apartment block was damaged by a long-range missile or artillery.
On Thursday morning, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said that in addition to military casualties, “as far as I know, at the moment there are some civilian deaths, up to ten.”
However, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed that many civilians have been killed and injured in the two-day invasion.
“We have received reports of at least 127 civilian casualties; this includes 25 dead and 102 wounded in Ukraine, caused by bombing and air strikes… this is most likely an underestimate,” dijo Ravina ShamdasaniOHCHR spokesperson.
The United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people have lost their homes and have been displaced within the country. “We also know of several thousand who have crossed international borders in the region, and we have seen that actually happen from the start of the situation.” UNHCR spokeswoman saidShabia Mantoo.
Ukraine has already seen thousands of victims of the long conflict with Russia. The war broke out in 2014 after Russian-backed rebels seized government buildings in towns and cities in eastern Ukraine.
More than 14,000 people have been killed in the Donbas conflict since 2014. Ukraine says 1.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes, most staying in areas of Donbas that remain under Ukrainian control and some 200,000 have resettled in the wider Kyiv region.
With information from Sharon Braithwaite, Tim Lister, Tara John and Paul P. Murphy of CNN