The UN has found that at least 331 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine despite the cease-fire agreed to by the Kiev government and armed separatists in early September, The New York Times reported.
The UN found that artillery, tank, and small arms fire was ongoing in and around the separatist hotbeds of Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Moscow rebels have proclaimed independence from Ukraine. The September ceasefire followed a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine meant to prevent the country’s last pockets of separatist resistance from falling during a Ukrainian military offensive. It’s now apparent that the ceasefire hasn’t really put a halt to hostilities.
These latest reported casualties bring the total number of fighters and civilians killed in the Ukraine conflict to at least 3,660. A report by Gianni Magazzeni, a senior United Nations human rights official, stated that most civilian deaths were caused by shelling of residential areas by both pro-Russian separatists and a Ukrainian army bent on wrestling the breakaway regions back under Kiev’s control.
Fighting at the Ukrainian army-held Donetsk airport — one of the conflict’s major flashpoints — has also continued for over a week. Photos of a collapsed airport terminal circulated on Twitter this morning.
The Los Angeles Time is also reporting that Russian surveillance drones are scouting areas around the strategically crucial Ukrainian government-held frontline city of Mariupol, perhaps in order to scout targets for a future offensive.
The war in Ukraine is continuing despite the ceasefire — raising fears of what the conflict might begin to look like if and when the agreement officially collapses.
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