How many children have died in Ukraine since Russia invaded - and what happened to Kyiv schoolgirl Polina?

A schoolgirl is among the 16 children who have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A Ukrainian schoolgirl is among those who have been killed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday UK Defence Secretary hinted fresh measures to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion are likely to be introduced.

Reuters reports that Ukraine’s health ministry said on Sunday 352 civilians had been killed since the start of the invasion.

Hundreds more have been injured since the invasion began on Thursday.

A schoolgirl called Polina is among those who have been killed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Who is Polina and what happened to her?

Polina from Kyiv, who was in her final year of primary school, was killed on Saturday. She was with her family and two siblings when her family car came under fire.

The BBC reports that Kyiv’s local authority said she and her parents were shot dead by a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group on a street in the north-west of the capital.

Polina’s brother and sister were taken to hospital. Her sister was in intensive care and her brother was taken to a separate children’s hospital.

Writing on Facebook the deputy mayor of Kyiv Volodymyr Bondarenko said: “Her name was Polina. She studied in the 4th grade of school in Kyiv. This morning on Teligi her and her parents were shot by Russian DRG,”

How many children have been killed in the conflict?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 16 children have been killed and another 45 injured during the Russian invasion, adding “every crime, every shelling by the occupiers bring our partners and us even closer”.

Among the children killed was a six-year-old girl dubbed the girl in the pink unicorn pyjamas.

She was killed when the Russians shelled her Mariupol apartment block on Sunday.

A photograher captured medics attempts to save her, and the Daily Mail reports that a doctor pumping oxygen into the girl, turned to the AP photographer and said: “Show this to Putin: The eyes of this child, and crying doctors.”

A boy was killed when a block of flats caught fire after being shelled in Chuhuiv, a small town outside Kharkiv.

The UK’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said it was sending a message of solidarity to healthcare workers in Ukraine, and has called for more protection for children caught in the conflict.

Dr Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said:“We are deeply disturbed by the many reports from Ukraine describing attacks on hospitals, healthcare workers and on children and young people. These actions are in defiance of the Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law and will devastate a generation.

“Reports from Ukraine are alarming. We have seen an orphanage bombed. A Neonatal Unit in Dnipro, eastern Ukraine, was forced to move their patients to a basement bomb shelter. One of the largest children’s hospitals has been directly hit by rocket fire. Children are being traumatised and separated from their families.

“On behalf of paediatricians and the child health workforce in the UK and globally, we are sending a message of solidarity to our colleagues and friends in Ukraine. We know you are continuing to help those in your care and we stand with you.

“We condemn the attacks on Ukraine. We appeal to the international community asking for swift action to come together to stop the violence and suffering of the Ukrainian people, and provide immediate aid and support to those in need, recognising the specific and life-long impact this violence will have on Ukrainian children and young people.”

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers his speech addressing the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.

What is the UK doing to help refugees?

Ben Wallace said on Monday a move to allow immediate family members to join Ukrainians settled in the UK is only a “first step” as Vladimir Putin’s assault continued.

The UK Government announced the relaxation of visa rules for immediate family members of Ukrainians settled in the UK after coming under intense criticism over the weekend.

But Labour called for ministers to immediately extend the opportunity to wider relatives before setting out a “broader sanctuary route” to help other Ukrainians.

Mr Wallace said he does not doubt the UK will go further to match the “very generous” schemes that have helped in other conflicts.

“I think what I would say is, you know, our track record so far, both with Afghans and (the) Arap (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) scheme, and indeed with the Hong Kong nationals who were suffering persecution, has been actually very generous,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“So there’s no reason to doubt we won’t continue on that path.”

He said it is not yet clear whether the European Union’s approach will be to support refugees on the border, with the hope they will be able to return to Ukraine soon.

But he said the UK response will be discussed by senior ministers on Monday.

A woman with two children and carrying bags walk on a street to leave Ukraine after crossing the Slovak-Ukrainian border in Ubla, eastern Slovakia, close to the Ukrainian city of Welykyj Beresnyj, on February 25, 2022, following Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. Photo by PETER LAZAR/AFP via Getty Images

What is the UN doing?

A rare emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly was set to discuss the crisis in Ukraine on Monday.

Only 10 such emergency special sessions of the General Assembly have been convened since 1950.

The Secretary-General previously announced the UN will launch an appeal to fund its humanitarian operations in Ukraine.

It comes after an earlier decision to release $20 million from the UN emergency relief fund, known as CERF, to meet urgent needs in the country.

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