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21 Ukrainians Die From Cold In 24 Hours --> Record-cold temperatures struck across the region in late January (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) 7 February 2006 -- A cold snap in Ukraine killed 21 people over the past day, bringing the toll since mid-January to nearly 800.

The 24-hour toll added to a surging death rate since a first cold wave hit Ukraine on 16 January.

The Health Ministry said that most of the deaths occurred during a period when temperature plunged to record-breaking lows. The ministry says most of those who died were homeless or intoxicated.

The ministry said in a statement that a total of 7,800 people sought medical treatment and 4,470 were hospitalized in the same period.

Temperatures in January fell to below minus 30 degrees Celsius.

A new cold wave set in on 5 February with temperatures of minus 31 degrees Celsius in the northern Sumy Oblast. Forecasters expect the cold weather to last until 10 February in some parts.

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