UN says death toll in eastern Ukraine up to 4,707

Workers decorate a New Year tree, in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. New Year is widely celebrated as the most popular holiday in Ukraine with the Orhodox Christmas being celebrated on Jan. 7. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

GENEVA (AP) — Fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed at least at least 4,707 people since the conflict began in mid-April and more than a quarter of the recorded deaths have come since a much-ignored cease-fire, U.N. rights investigators said Monday.

A new report from the U.N. team in Ukraine says at least 1,357 of the fatalities have been recorded since the cease-fire began in early September, but the team noted that some of those deaths may have occurred before then.

Some 10,322 people have been wounded in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine, where more than 5 million people are facing rising hardships, according to the report. The most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, children and people in state institutional care, are being particularly affected by disruptions in social and medical services.

“The situation of many people, including those held against their will, in areas under the control of the armed groups may well be life-threatening,” said the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein. “The government of Ukraine remains responsible for protecting the human rights of all Ukrainians, including the right to health, education and social security, in all its territory, including areas it does not fully control.”

The latest findings from the Geneva office, based on reports from a 34-member U.N. monitoring mission in Ukraine during November and other figures through Dec. 12, says large-scale offensives have halted since the cease-fire, but skirmishes and indiscriminate shelling of populated areas continue.

Previous U.N. reports have observed that the standoff between government troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine is increasingly entrenched as law and order breaks down in Donetsk, the largest city under separatist control, and in rebel-controlled areas in the neighboring Luhansk region.

The report also notes lack of progress with several human rights investigations into alleged violations in Kiev, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s