Eastern Ukraine conflict death toll surpasses 3,000

DAILY SABAH
Istanbul
Published 02.02.2019 00:25

The ongoing conflict in Donbas in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of 3,300 civilians and left an additional 9,000 injured since 2014 according to U.N. figures.

"As a U.N. System Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, I am deeply concerned by the consequences of the crisis that has been going on in Ukraine for six years. ... The impact on the humanitarian situation is huge," Osnat Lubrani said in a statement Friday.

"Some 279 civilian deaths were recorded last year." Artillery fire and the deployment of landmines in the area have been one of the main contributors to the loss of civilian life in Donbas. "The 427-kilometer demarcation line gives no access to various services, families and other key things," Lubrani said.

Since Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and the ensuing conflict with pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, tensions remain high as the two countries continue trading blame for the worst crisis in years between the neighbors. After the latest naval standoff in Kerch strait, under President Poroshenko, Ukraine has pushed to establish a national church and thereby sever centuries-old ties with the Russian clergy. The religious schism between the Istanbul Patriarchate and Moscow Church marks an important new facet for the rift between Russia and Ukraine, who have become bitter enemies since the annexation of Crimea.

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