Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has ordered the closure of all state services in the eastern regions controlled by pro-Russia forces.
Poroshenko issued a decree on Saturday, ordering his cabinet to take measures within a week to close all state services in the country’s volatile eastern regions, where government troops are fighting pro-Russia forces.
A Ukrainian security official said on the condition of anonymity that the order covers services such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and emergency services.
“All the structures that the state finances will be withdrawn from there,” said the unnamed official, adding, “Ukraine will no longer finance them.”
The crisis in Ukraine was high on the agenda at a summit of leaders of the world’s 20 major economies, known as the G20, in the Australian city of Brisbane. Western leaders at the summit criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing Moscow of being involved in the Ukrainian crisis.
Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters at the G20 summit earlier on Saturday that Moscow is not involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and is not responsible for the escalation of the violence there.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia activists and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence the pro-Russians in mid-April.
According to the latest figures by the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and over 9,300 others injured in the fighting. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes.