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Red Cross shocked with death of its representative in Ukraine’s Donetsk

October 03, 2014, 4:29 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, October 3. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply distressed with the death of one of its staff members, Laurent DuPasquier, who was killed on Thursday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk after an artillery shell landed exploding near his premises, the organization said in its statement.

“We are deeply shocked by this tragic loss," the statement quoted ICRC Director of Operations Dominik Stillhart as saying. “We understand that there were other civilian casualties in Donetsk today. Indiscriminate shelling of residential areas is unacceptable and violates international humanitarian law.”

On Thursday night, Eduard Basurin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic DPR defense ministry’s political department, told journalists that “a Red Cross representative, Laurent DuPasquier, a citizen of Switzerland, born 1976, was killed.”

The 38-year-old Swiss employee arrived in Ukraine about six weeks ago and in the post of an administrator in the organization’s office in Donetsk he worked in the team of some 20 ICRC employees currently staying in the eastern Ukrainian city.

“Mr. DuPasquier worked for the ICRC for more than five years, carrying out assignments in Pakistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt and Papua New Guinea. He started his posting in Ukraine six weeks ago,” the organization’s statement said.

The press service of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) state council said on Thursday that on October 1 at least nine people were killed and another 30 wounded after Donetsk was shelled from the area of the airport, which DPR self-defense forces had been trying to recapture from pro-Kiev troops as they continued shelling residential districts of the city.

One of the facilities reported to be subjected to shelling was public school 57, where several adults were killed. There were no reports about casualties among children at the shelled school.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire and exchange of captives during the OSCE-mediated talks in Minsk on September 5 that came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his seven-point plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. The long hoped-for ceasefire took effect the same day, but reports said it had been repeatedly violated since then.

On September 19, the Contact Group consisting of representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE as well as representatives from the DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of the ceasefire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

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 People’s republics, have claimed some 3,500 lives, according to the UN, forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast and caused massive destruction.

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