Nearly 8,000 People Have Been Killed in Ukraine Conflict

A Ukrainian serviceman reviews a memorial erected in Kiev in late August honoring dead government fighters from the August 2014 battle for Ilovaisk near Donetsk. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sergei Supinsky / AFP/Getty Images)
A Ukrainian serviceman reviews a memorial erected in Kiev in late August honoring dead government fighters from the August 2014 battle for Ilovaisk near Donetsk. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sergei Supinsky / AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly 8,000 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations said Tuesday in a report blaming the continuing influx of fighters and weaponry from Russia as the major obstacle to peace.

At least 7,962 people have been killed and 17,811 wounded in the fighting that erupted in April 2014, the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said in a statement issued with the latest report by his agency’s monitors in Ukraine.

They said more than 400 civilians had been killed or wounded in artillery exchanges in the three most recent months covered by the report, more than double the number in the preceding three months, and cited daily violations of the cease-fire accord negotiated in February in Minsk, Belarus, between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian groups controlling large portions of eastern Ukraine.

“The major impediments” to peace are the presence of foreign fighters, the flow of sophisticated and heavy weaponry from Russia, and Ukraine’s lack of control over its eastern border with Russia, the report said.

The report, covering the months up to Aug. 15, was issued as the Ukrainian and Russian authorities described a downturn in fighting since a new truce began at the start of September.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Nick Cumming-Bruce

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