Over 9,000 killed in Ukraine conflict: UN
The United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.
The UN human rights office said in a report on Wednesday that 9,098 people, including civilians and soldiers, have been killed, while 20,732 others have been wounded during the time period.
The report added that 52 percent of the deaths had occurred as a result of landmines and other explosive devices, underlining the “urgent need for extensive mine clearance and mine awareness actions on both sides of the conflict.
The UN, however noted that it had recorded a “sharp de-escalation of hostilities” in eastern Ukraine, which has been the scene of clashes between Ukrainian army soldiers and pro-Russian forces.
According to figures provided in the report, 47 civilians were killed and 131 wounded in the conflict areas of Donetsk and Lugansk between August 16 and November 15 this year. The number shows a decline in comparison with deaths over the previous three-month time period.
Meanwhile, UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, warned in a statement that many people in Ukraine were living in a difficult humanitarian and human rights situation.
“Elderly people have no access to their life savings, people with disabilities have little assistance, and reduced access to healthcare has left many in dismal, precarious, even life-threatening situations,” he cautioned. Al Hussein said.
Donetsk and Lugansk are two mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine which have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.
The following month, the situation in the two flashpoint regions started to worsen as residents overwhelmingly voted for independence from Ukraine in referendums.
The clashes have continued despite the Minsk II ceasefire deal reached between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia forces at a summit attended by the leaders of Russia, France and Germany in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk, back in February.