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UN chief urges immediate end to violence in Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS, June 15, /ITAR-TASS/. chief urges immediate end to violence in Ukraine.

15/6 Tass

UNITED NATIONS, June 15 /ITAR-TASS/. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Ukrainian law-enforcers and self-defense forces to immediately halt armed hostilities amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.

In a statement released on Saturday, the UN chief said he was concerned that recent diplomatic efforts in that direction “have not borne fruit” and appeals to all the sides “to implement urgently the April 17 Geneva Agreement, which offered a clear path to a peaceful solution.”

“The Secretary-General believes the continuing violence in eastern Ukraine characterized by growing loss of life and a deteriorating humanitarian situation highlights the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a resolution of the crisis through negotiation and dialogue,” the statement said.

Russia submitted a draft Resolution on Ukraine to the UN Security Council on June 12, urging all the sides to refrain “from actions threatening the life and security of civilians” and expressing concern over the use of prohibited ammunition, including incendiary bombs, by the Ukrainian military during its punitive operation in the east of Ukraine.

The UN chief also expressed his support for newly-elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and said he stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people during this difficult time.

“Everyone must do their part to bring Ukraine back from the brink and ensure its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement said.

Clashes have been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

A Kiev-led punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's east that involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has already claimed hundreds of lives, including civilian, and left some buildings destroyed and damaged.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. Their independence has not been officially recognized.

Russia has repeatedly called on Kiev to end the punitive operation and engage in dialogue with Ukraine’s east.