423 killed in Ukraine clashes since April

2014-06-24 22:27
Black smoke rises from a shot down Ukrainian Army helicopter outside Slovyansk, Ukraine. (File, AP)

Black smoke rises from a shot down Ukrainian Army helicopter outside Slovyansk, Ukraine. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Clashes between pro-Russian separatists and army forces in eastern Ukraine killed an estimated 423 soldiers and civilians between 15 April and 20 June, a senior UN official said on Tuesday.

Ivan Simonovic, the UN's assistant secretary for human rights, also said the number of internally displaced people had doubled over the past two weeks with the movement of some 15 200 within the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council, Simonovic said the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, had interviewed more than 46 100 internally displaced people (IDPs) as of Monday, including 11 500 from Crimea and nearly 34 600 from the east of the Ukraine.

However, he warned, "in the absence of a formal registration system, and given the limited access to some areas by humanitarian partners, the number of IDPs is likely to be higher."

Simonovic is the author of a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine published last week.

"While we have not received reports of deliberate targeting of the population at large, we are verifying allegations that security forces could have taken measures to prevent civilian casualties," he told the Security Council.

Simonovic added that "the government must ensure that its armed forces refrain from using excessive force, and ensure that its ongoing security operations are at all times in line with the relevant international human rights standards."

"In all circumstances, it must ensure the protection of those who are not involved in the fighting," he said.

Simonovic spoke as nine servicemen died when insurgents shot down an army helicopter in the east of Ukraine, just a day after a top militia leader ordered a temporary ceasefire in an unexpected reversal of a firm rejection of President Petro Poroshenko's earlier peace overtures.

Cease fire

Last Friday, Poroshenko ordered his forces to hold their fire for a week in an effort to resolve the worst crisis since Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

And in a shock change of heart that Kiev hailed as the "first practical step" in defusing the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Russian lawmakers Tuesday to revoke a resolution allowing him to invade Ukraine.

Simonovic welcomed yesterday's rebel announcement regarding the ceasefire, saying it "creates a window of opportunity for human rights and humanitarian confidence building measures."

In separate remarks to the Security Council, the UN's assistant secretary general for political affairs said that "overall the ceasefire is holding."

But Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "expects all sides to live up to the ceasefire and to leave the door open for effective negotiation and mediation towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis," Taye-Brook Zerihoun said.

In the debate that followed, Russia and Western powers on the panel traded barbs - as they have done in previous discussions about the months-long conflict.

US Ambassador Samantha Power, while welcoming Putin's "more conciliatory rhetoric" in recent days said this must now be reflected by "a genuine shift in the facts on the ground."

"We have urged Russia to be part of the political solution to the crisis in Ukraine," Power said.

"But if it persists with the same escalatory tactics, it must face additional costs."

Read more on:    un  |  petro poroshenko  |  ban ki-moon  |  ukraine

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!



This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.