Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:19AM
A displaced woman and a young boy sit in a bus before fleeing the Ukrainian city of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, on February 1, 2015. © AFP
A displaced woman and a young boy sit in a bus before fleeing the Ukrainian city of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, on February 1, 2015. © AFP

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine has exceeded 1.2 million, the United Nations says as the crisis in the country’s eastern parts enters its second year.

"Ukraine: one year after the conflict began, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is 1,228,090, including 154,635 children," the UN said on its Twitter account on Sunday.

Back in February, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that five million Ukrainians, including some 1.7 million children, have been affected by the ongoing crisis in the country’s eastern provinces.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

The UN said recently that at least 6,116 people have been killed and 15,474 wounded since the beginning of the tumult in Ukraine last April.

Warning that the actual number of casualties could be significantly higher, the UN further expressed concerns that the repeated violation of a shaky ceasefire aimed at ending the conflict would further worsen the human rights situation in the country' restive parts.

Ukraine’s warring sides reached the truce deal, dubbed Minsk II, at a summit attended by the leaders of Russia, France, and Germany in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk in February. Since then, both parties have, on numerous occasions, accused each other of breaking the ceasefire.

SSM/NT/AS