"The increase in the death toll" in the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, with "images of fear, anguish and terror in every corner of Ukraine", wrote the official in a message on Twitter, is why "the protection of civilians must be the number one priority. International humanitarian and human rights laws must be respected", he stressed.

Guterres announced on Thursday that he would immediately send 20 million dollars in emergency aid to the civilian population affected by the fighting in Ukraine.

In a brief statement at the organization's headquarters, António Guterres added that this first aid, coming from the United Nations Emergency Fund, will be delivered "without looking at who they are or where they are", as UN personnel "work on both sides of the line of contact, always guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence".