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VIENNA, October 9. /TASS/. A total of 1,500 people, including 21 children, have died in Donetsk in Ukraine's embattled east since March 2014, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a daily report published on the OSCE website.
“The SMM went to the Donetsk city morgue and spoke to the director of the forensic expertise of corpses’ department. He said 1,498 people, including 21 children, had been killed in the entire region of Donetsk from 13 March 2014 to 8 October 2014,” the SMM said.
“According to the director, there are 60 bodies in the basement of the morgue, 20 of which have not been identified. The procedure in such cases is that unidentified bodies are kept for a maximum of ten days in the morgue after which authorities examine bodies, document any special marks, and bury the body in a listed location,” it said.
“The SMM saw several bodies waiting for examination and observed that the overall process was handled appropriately and that all data was stored in a database,” the statement 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 conducted since mid-April to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR).
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire and exchange of prisoners during talks mediated by the OSCE on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but reports said it has occasionally been violated.