The sheer toll of human misery wrought by the war in Ukraine is difficult to comprehend

It was Joseph Stalin who said that “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic”. The quotation may in fact have been apocryphal, but it stuck because it entirely fitted his unhuman modus operandi, and it can be well applied to his successor in the Kremlin, spiritual and temporal, the equally imperialist Vladimir Putin.

As Ukraine’s public prosecutor, Yuriy Belousov, tells The Independent in an exclusive interview, more than 100,000 Ukrainian civilians are believed to have been killed in the year since Russia launched its brutal invasion – more than 10 times the current official death toll.

The additional tragedy is that so many of those deaths came as a result of the deliberate targeting of homes, schools and hospitals by the Russian forces. There have been tens of thousands more Ukrainian and Russian military casualties, and millions of Ukrainians driven from their homes.


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