GENEVA, March 2. /TASS/. More than 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the east of Ukraine since last April, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in Geneva on Monday.
In connection with the publication of a regular — ninth — report of the monitoring mission in the field of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine, he drew attention to the civilians’ plight in the zone of hostilities. The human rights situation has "sharply deteriorated," said the UN high commissioner, adding that more than 6,000 lives have been lost as a result of combat actions.
"More than six thousand lives have now been lost in less than a year due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine," High Commissioner Zeid said. "It is imperative that all sides comply with the provisions of the Minsk agreements and halt the indiscriminate shelling and other hostilities that have created a dreadful situation for civilians — in stark disregard of international humanitarian law and human rights law."
From mid-April 2014 to 28 February 2015, 5,809 people were documented as killed and 14,740 wounded in the east of Ukraine. Of these, 1,012 were killed and 3,793 wounded between 1 December 2014 and 15 February 2015. Given that full reports on casualties, especially near Donetsk airport and in the Debaltsevo area, are still pending, the United Nations Human Rights Office estimates that the total number of people killed in eastern Ukraine by 2 March has almost certainly exceeded 6,000.
"All aspects of people’s lives are being negatively affected, and the situation is increasingly untenable for the local inhabitants, especially in areas controlled by the armed groups. Many have been trapped in conflict zones, forced to shelter in basements, with hardly any drinking water, food, heating, electricity or basic medical supplies," High Commissioner Zeid said.
The report notes some positive developments, including the talks that resulted in the new ceasefire agreement. The UN Human Rights Office also welcomes the provisions regarding an "all-for-all" release of hostages and unlawfully detained people, the pullback of heavy weaponry from the line of contact, withdrawal of foreign armed formations, mercenaries and weapons from the territory of Ukraine and the reinstatement of full control of the state border by the Government of Ukraine throughout the conflict area.