Sunday 23 July 2017

Civilians caught in crossfire in Ukraine

Local residents are seen in a building which was damaged during fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka, Ukraine
Local residents are seen in a building which was damaged during fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka, Ukraine

Roland Oliphant in Moscow

International monitors yesterday strongly urged the warring sides in eastern Ukraine to silence their guns as heavy artillery and rocket barrages continued to pummel residential areas.

At least 33 people, including civilians, have been killed in recent fighting and several dozens injured in the worst violence since 2015.

"Unacceptable! Sides have to stop fighting!" the monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation In Europe said on its Facebook page.

The death toll in fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatist rebels that began in April 2014 has exceeded 9,800, according to United Nations' figures. While the warring sides have regularly exchanged gunfire despite a February 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany, this week has seen a sharp spike in hostilities.

Irish Independent

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