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Fighting in eastern Ukraine intensified in February — UN report

March 09, 9:43 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
According to the UN, between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, 78 conflict-related civilian casualties were recorded in eastern Ukraine
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, March 9. /TASS/. Fighting in the east of Ukraine intensified in February, the situation of the residents of the region worsened, according to a series of reports on Ukraine by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Despite a decrease in the number of civilian casualties in the east of Ukraine over the past few months, a new UN report shows that the conflict is severely impacting on the daily life of civilians, with a growing sense of despair and isolation affecting those living in the conflict zone, especially in the areas controlled by the armed groups," according to the report.

"There is a terrible sensation of physical, political, social and economic isolation and abandonment among the huge number of people - more than three million in all - who are struggling to eke out a living in the conflict zone. They are in urgent need of greater protection and support," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein as cited by the report.

According to the three UN agencies: Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, 78 conflict-related civilian casualties were recorded in eastern Ukraine, bringing the estimated casualty figures since the beginning of the conflict to more than 30,000 people, including at least 9,160 killed and 21,000 injured. These figures include civilians as well as Ukrainian armed forces, and members of armed groups.

In February, humanitarian organizations, together with the Ukrainian government asked the donors for $298 million to assist 2.5 million most vulnerable people of Donbass (Ukraine;s eastern region -TASS) and refugees from the region in 2016.

The report draws attention to serious consequences the conflict for children. According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), fighting in the east of Ukraine affected 580,000 minors. Of this number 200,000 need psychological assistance.

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