As US Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva for talks aiming to end the fighting in Ukraine, the United Nations released a report announcing that the death toll in the country surpassed 6,000 since April 2014.
The casualties escalated rapidly between Jan. 13 and Feb. 15 of this year, when 842 were killed, among them 359 civilians. Another 3,410 were wounded, 916 of them civilians. Many more are held in “illegal and arbitrary” detention on both sides. There are also multiple cases of kidnappings and torture.
“It is imperative that all sides comply with the provisions of the Minsk Agreements and halt the indiscriminate shelling and other hostilities that have created a dreadful situation for civilians—in stark disregard of international humanitarian law and human rights law,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a statement.
The UN report lists other, indirect effects of the war. According to government numbers, over one million people are registered as internally displaced persons. “Heavy and indiscriminate shelling,” especially since January of this year, destroyed buildings and infrastructure and forced people to leave their homes.
SOURCE: Hanna Kozlowska