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UN gravely concerned by renewed Ukraine fighting
February 1, 2017, 8:44 am

The Ukraine conflict is taking a heavy toll on civilian lives and infrastructure, the UN and HRW say [Xinhua]

The United Nations says it is concerned by renewed fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Kiev’s armed forces in eastern Ukraine.

The UN says that thousands of people are facing lack of water and persistent power outages in the middle of a freezing winter.

People have endured the two-year stalemate with no solution in sight.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said that ceasefire violations increased since the beginning of the week near the town of Avdeyevka and the settlement of Yasinovataya.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said that the violations were as a result of attacks by Russian forces in the Donbass region, which killed eight of its soldiers and wounded 25.

But the leadership of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic said that Ukraine launched attacks when it realized that relations between Moscow and Washington were beginning to improve.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry blamed Ukrainian troops for launching offensives to seize territory in the suburbs of Donetsk.

Both Russia and Ukraine called on each other to respect the Minsk ceasefire and stop using weapons – such as heavy artillery – banned under the agreement signed in 2015.

The European Union also condemned the fighting: “The intense fighting around [Avdeyevka] in the last few days, involving heavy shelling with proscribed weapons and leading to a considerable number of casualties, is a blatant violation of the ceasefire, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements.”

The United Nations Security Council “expressed grave concern about the dangerous deterioration of the situation in the eastern Ukraine and its severe impact on the local civilian population”.

It called for an immediate return to the ceasefire agreement.

The UNSC is to hold an open meeting with members of the OSCE on February 2.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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