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Kiev accuses Moscow of stoking violence in E Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talks with reporters during an interview in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 27, 2015. (© AP)

The Ukrainian government has censured neighboring Russia over what it calls Moscow’s unwillingness to peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, calling for weapons and munitions from its Western allies. 

"The situation is difficult. Russia does not want peace," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the Ukrainian parliament on Friday.

He also accused Moscow of failing to honor the military terms of the Minsk peace agreement struck earlier this year. 

"We have done everything we can to fulfill the Minsk accords. But, the Russian side has made no concessions in order to de-escalate the situation," Yatsenyuk stated. 

During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine’s frontlines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect late on February 14. The warring sides, however, have continued to engage in sporadic clashes. 

(L-R) Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attend Ukraine peace talks in Minsk, Belarus, on February 11, 2015. ©AP

"We have to prepare ourselves to fight further for peace," Yatsenyuk said, demanding that Kiev's Western supporters supply it with ammunition. 

"We are fighting for the peace of the whole world, against Russian aggression," the Ukrainian prime minister commented. 

On April 19, the United Nations put the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine at 1,228,090, noting that a total of 154,635 children were among them. 

The UN human rights office in Geneva said on April 17 that at least 6,116 people have been killed and 15,474 wounded since the tumult was triggered last April. 

A Ukrainian serviceman stands near a shell-damaged building in the village of Pesky near Donetsk, Ukraine on April 23, 2015. ©AFP

It said the actual number of casualties could be significantly higher and expressed increasing concern that the repeated violation of the shaky ceasefire aimed at ending the conflict would further worsen the human rights situation in the volatile region.

The UN office also reported that nearly 400 civilians have been killed since the beginning of 2015 either in indiscriminate bombardment of residential areas or by landmines and unexploded ordnance in areas held by pro-Russia forces as well as those under the control of the government in Kiev.


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