The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has warned of a serious deterioration in security in Ukraine’s restive eastern regions amid Kiev’s latest offensive against pro-Russian forces there.
“What our monitors have been reporting is a serious deterioration of the security situation in the past few days with an increase in ceasefire violations,” OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said to British media on Tuesday.
Bociurkiw also voiced concern for civilians getting caught in the fighting between Kiev troops and pro-Russian forces, especially in and around Donetsk International Airport, as the violence is moving further into the city.
The OSCE spokesman also reported of a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the area, calling it “absolutely horrific.”
“What we’ve been seeing, very sadly, over the past few days as reported by our monitors is also children being caught up in the conflict – deaths, injuries, the inability to go to school,” said Bociurkiw.
Kiev authorities launched a large-scale offensive last week against pro-Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region.
Heavy fighting has taken place in and around Donetsk airport with both sides claiming to be in control of the site.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence protests there in mid-April 2014.
The United Nations says around 5,000 people have been killed in the fighting.