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UN reports ‘heavy losses’ among Kiev troops, militia in Avdeyevka

February 03, 2017, 3:36 UTC+3 UN

A UN under-secretary-general reiterated a call for an immediate ceasefire and peaceful settlement on the basis of the Minsk reconciliation agreements

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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

UN, February 3. /TASS/. The clashes near eastern Ukraine’s Avdeyevka resulted in "heavy losses" on both sides, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the UN Security Council.

He said the organization received "reports of civilian casualties, including at least four deaths since the escalation on 28 January, and heavy losses among the combatants on both sides."

The UN also received reports about the "recorded damage to civilian houses and a school" in populated areas of Avdeyevka, which raise "serious concerns about possible violations of international humanitarian law by all sides."

"There are now reports of clashes that are directly endangering civilian crossing points, residential areas and crucial civilian infrastructure, such as water purification plants and delivery systems, power lines and heating supply lines," Feltman said.

He reiterated the UN Secretary General’s call for an immediate ceasefire and peaceful settlement on the basis of the Minsk reconciliation agreements.

In the past few days, the situation along the line of contact has deteriorated drastically. The Ukrainian military’s shelling has caused civilian deaths and casualties and damaged infrastructure facilities. On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning the use of weapons banned by the Minsk agreements and calling on the sides to immediately halt the fire.

On February 1, the Contact Group on settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine held a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, demanding that hostilities in Donbass be stopped, weapons and military hardware be withdrawn from the line of contact by February 5.

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