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DONETSK, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. At least 400 people have been killed in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk since the start of an armed conflict in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), first deputy prime minister of the DPR Andrey Purgin said Monday.
“Most of these people are in the morgue of the Kalinin hospital. Some 90% of them are civilians,” Purgin told ITAR-TASS, adding that DPR authorities will ask Russian experts to hold DNA tests of these bodies.
According to the vice-premier, overall, 4,000 people have died in the republic since the start of hostilities there.
“You need to understand that no one will tell you the exact figure yet, as there are still many undiscovered burials. But the figures I cited refer only to civilians of our republic and militia,” Purgin said.
He said the militia discovered in the village of Kommunar a new mass grave of captives and civilians shot by Ukrainian servicemen.
“Nine bodies were found at an abandoned mine in Kommunar, five of them are gunned-down captive militiamen, and the rest are civilians,” Purgin said.
According to the UN, some 3,500 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s war-torn southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Southeastern militiamen recently found a few mass graves at sites where Ukrainian troops had been stationed.