: :inin Kyiv (EET)

After UN Security Council briefing on Russia shelling at Donbas, Ukraine Presidential Administration talks about UN peacekeeping mission

During the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Ukraine the top United Nations political and humanitarian officials told that Russia’s assault in Donbas and shelling day and night extracted heavy toll, including among civilians.

The UN Security Council briefing on the escalation of the conflict in Donbas by the Russian Federation, took place on February 02, 2017.

“Despite calls from all corners for a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weaponry, the militants continue shelling day and night,” said Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko.

“Shelling intensified on 30-31 January, including aimed at the objects of civilian infrastructure. As a result, the Donetsk water filtration plant and Avdiivka coke plant, which provides heat for Avdiivka, are now de-energized. The city is left without water, electricity and heat. Current temperature in Avdiivka is minus 18°C, without central heating civilians will not survive. 16 000 people ended up without water, electricity and heating, including 2 000 kids. Just imagine, 2000 kids. Without heating. At minus 18°C. Ukrainian Emergency services prepared to evacuate people from Avdiivka,” stated Yelchenko.

“Since 7 January this year, and in particular over the last few days, we have seen a dangerous intensification of the conflict,” Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs told Council members.

“The entire length of the ‘Contact Line’ has seen a serious escalation of hostilities, and there is still a risk of further deterioration of the situation,” added Mr. Feltman.

“I am alarmed at the turn this conflict has taken, and the increasing toll this has on the civilian population. As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine deteriorates, increasing numbers of people are at risk and in need, their resilience eroded and their hope fading. The inability to reach a political solution to this crisis is resulting in further civilian casualties, damage to critical infrastructure and more human suffering.” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien

The US ambassador to the United Nations called on Russia to de-escalate violence in Donbas and told that U.S. sanctions against the Russian Federation would remain in place until it withdraws from illegally annexed Crimea.

“The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea,” said Nikki Haley, “Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.”

See also: Russia arms and trains its militants in Donbas – U.S. Mission to OSCE

After UN Security Council briefing on Russia shelling at Donbas, Ukrainian Presidential Administration Deputy Head Konstantin Yeliseyev has said that Ukraine remains an advocate of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas, and the issue of the OSCE police mission, should be also considered by the international community as an option for resolving the conflict:

“Since the proposal to send in an armed mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has stalled, we hope that perhaps debate will be resumed on the previous initiative of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas,” said Konstantin Yeliseyev.

“It would also be a test for the Russian Federation, if it, in fact, as it declares, seeks to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. If Russia vetoes the decision [at the UN Security Council], it will be an indication of [Russia’s] actual position on the situation in Donbas,” said Presidential Administration Deputy Head.

See also: Russian troops continue mass shelling in Donbas – 2 Ukrainian troops and several civilians killed, British journalist injured


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