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UN Says Hundreds Killed During Ukraine Cease-Fire

  • RFE/RL

A man walks past a building damaged in recent shelling in Donetsk's Kyivskiy district near the airport on October 7.

A man walks past a building damaged in recent shelling in Donetsk's Kyivskiy district near the airport on October 7.

The United Nations says at least 331 deaths have been reported in eastern Ukraine since a cease-fire deal between government forces and pro-Russian separatists was agreed on September 5.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on October 8 that hostilities continue in Donetsk, one of two major cities held by the separatists, and around the towns of Debaltseve and Schastye.

It said at least 3,660 people have been killed and 8,756 wounded in eastern Ukraine since fighting began in mid-April.

Nearly 376,000 people from eastern Ukraine have been displaced during more than six months of fighting.

Some of the 331 deaths reported since the September 5 cease-fire agreement may have occurred before that date.

Fighting in Donetsk has focused mainly around the government-controlled airport, but nearby residential areas have been hit repeatedly by shells.

Rebel-controlled Donetsk city hall said on October 8 that three civilians were killed by shelling overnight.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland continued her visit to Ukraine on October 8 with plans to travel to eastern Ukraine.

Reports of Nuland's trip to the restive region did not specify where exactly she planned to visit.

Earlier on October 8, Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt announced that the United States has handed over equipment to the Ukrainian border guard service.

Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reports that the equipment includes trucks, tractors, fuel trucks, armored minibuses, cranes, and excavators worth some $3 million.

Nuland said during a visit to a Ukrainian border guard base outside Kyiv that the United States would provide an additional $10 million in protective gear and nonlethal equipment to Ukrainian servicemen.

Nuland said Ukrainian authorities have devised a plan to regain control over parts of Ukraine's eastern border with Russia but she did not provide details.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has complained that the inability to properly control that border has made it possible for people to cross into Ukraine from Russia and join pro-Russian separatist forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS