Monday 23 October 2017

Child's body makes a mockery of agreement

A woman carrying a child walks past the body of a child covered with a cloth after shelling between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces in a residential area of the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine
A woman carrying a child walks past the body of a child covered with a cloth after shelling between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces in a residential area of the town of Artemivsk, Ukraine

Karl Urllinov

IN the town of Artemivsk, 25 miles behind the Ukrainian frontline the truce meant little.

Out on the street witnesses spoke of the body of a small child killed as rocket fire hit a residential area.

Nobody really knows who fired the missile, to the child it was academic. Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Ukrainian army general staff, said eight soldiers were killed and 34 wounded over the previous day.

Regional authorities loyal to Kiev reported four civilian deaths in areas under their control, while rebels said seven people were killed in artillery attacks on the separatist-held cities of Luhansk and Horlivka. Who knows?

The "ceasefire" is to be monitored by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's observer mission in Ukraine.

OSCE secretary general Lamberto Zannier said in Kiev that he hoped hostilities would be halted by tonight's deadline.

"We would really hope to see a decrease already between now and that moment," he said. But the shells and guns still fire.

Mr Zannier said combatants would have to do more to enable the OSCE peace-monitoring mission, which uses drone cameras, to properly fulfil its mandate. Only time will tell if they comply.

Irish Independent

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