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UN under-secretary-general to visit eastern Ukraine

Valerie Amos plans to visit eastern Ukraine to personally get familiarized with the humanitarian situation in regions affected by hostilitie

UNITED NATIONS, August 21 /ITAR-TASS/. The United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, is going to visit the eastern part of Ukraine during her trip to that country to assess the situation in war-torn regions, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday.

Earlier, OCHA spokeswoman Amanda Pitt told an Itar-Tass correspondent that Amos will arrive in Kiev on Thursday afternoon and leave Ukraine on August 24. Amos’ visit agenda includes meetings with officials, diplomats and civil society representatives.

Amos also plans to visit eastern Ukraine to personally get familiarized with the humanitarian situation in regions affected by hostilities, the OCHA said.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Kiev on Wednesday. On the same day, he met with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The latter admitted that the situation in eastern Ukraine “can’t be resolved solely by military means.”

During his visit to Kiev, Feltman is also expected to discuss interaction of Ukrainian authorities with international experts investigating the recent crash of a Malaysian aircraft near Donetsk.

“There is an agreement that he will ask questions about the issue as well,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. He urged the Ukrainian side to provide recordings of talks of its air traffic controllers who sent the passenger jet to the area of combat operations.

On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region, killing all 298 people on board.

Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics.

During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.