East Ukraine death toll surpasses 6,400: UN
Iran Press TV
Mon Jun 1, 2015 2:23PM
More than 6,400 people have been killed during the conflict between Kiev forces and pro-Russia fighters over the past 13 months in Ukraine's restive east, according to a United Nations (UN) report.
The UN human rights office said in its latest report on Monday that at least 6,417 people, including 626 girls and women, lost their lives from the beginning of the conflict in mid-April last year through May 30, 2015.
Another 15,962 had been wounded between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russians over the past 13 months, it added.
A statement by the rights office indicates that the actual figure is likely to be far higher.
'This is a conservative estimate and the actual numbers could be considerably higher,' the statement read.
However, the rights office has reported a decrease in indiscriminate shelling and civilian casualties across the troubled eastern regions since a fragile truce was agreed between by sides in the Belarusian capital, Mink, in February.
The report further said that the shelling and combat between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russians had not stopped altogether and civilians were still dying from landmines and unexploded ordnance.
'While some areas in the conflict zone have remained calm, such as the city of Lugansk, others have become the scenes of escalating hostilities since April 11.'
The report also noted that some five million people, including 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), are still suffering from the consequences of the crisis.
Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein has also decried civilian casualties and "horrific accounts of torture and ill-treatment in detention' by both sides.
'Even with the decrease in hostilities, civilians continue to be killed and wounded,' al-Hussein said, adding, 'We have documented alarming reports of summary executions by armed groups and are looking into similar allegations against Ukrainian armed forces.'
The report also accuses Russia of sending heavy weaponry and fighters into the conflict-hit areas, a claim Moscow denies.
The eastern Ukraine's regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, with a large ethnic Russian population, have been the scene of fierce fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces since Kiev launched its military offensive to curb pro-Moscow rallies in April 2014.
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