HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN UKRAINE: TIME TO ACT (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)
The humanitarian situation in South-East Ukraine continues to detoriorate, which requires an urgent international action. Despite the Geneva Statement of the 17 April, the Berlin Declaration of the 2 July and other international documents, Kiev continues a large-scale military operation in this region using heavy artillery, Grad multi-launch missile systems and air-force against civillians and civilian infrastructure.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1367 persons have been killed and 4087 persons have been injured (of which 2589 were civilians, including 29 children) since the beginning of Kiev's Orwellian counter-terrorist operation. In total, there are about 3.9 million people in the area of the hostilities. Vital infrastructure, including power and water supply, state and residential buildings are destroyed. In some populated areas up to 80% of houses are damaged. About 200,000 persons have no access to drinking water. The numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees are constantly growing. 700,000 refugees found shelter in Russia. The most dramatic situation is in health. About 70% of medical personnel were forced to evacuate to safer regions, but those who stayed are in mortal danger. On the whole, it seems that the Ukrainian troops are simply trying to depopulate these regions, so that others, with a historical narrative and culture in line with those of the authorities, come to live there.
The severe humanitarian consequences of the Kiev’s military operation should be urgently dealt with. That is why Russia initiated and formed an international humanitarian mission to be sent to the troubled regions of Donetsk and Lugansk under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Despite initially refusing to recognise the dire humanitarian situation in the South-East of Ukraine, Kiev eventually agreed on the need for an urgent humanitarian action. Almost 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid was sent to the zone of conflict. However the question of the Ukrainian crisis settlement remains open. It is still possible for the international community to find to the resoultion, which has got to start with an
immediate cease-fire. The words aren't enough. The world cannot fiddle, while people of Eastern Ukraine are suffering.