The United Nations Security Council has condemned 'in the strongest terms' today's shelling which resulted in the deaths of more than 10 civilians in eastern Ukraine amid intensifying clashes between Government and opposition forces.
According to reports, as many as 15 civilians were killed and more than 20 were injured when shelling hit a public transport stop in the eastern city of Donetsk.
In recent days, Donetsk has been the scene of bitter fighting as the two sides clashed over the city's heavily contested airport.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a swift recovery to those injured,” the Council said in a press statement, adding that the Members underlined the need to conduct and objective investigation and bring the perpetrators of the 'reprehensible act' to justice.
In late February 2014, the situation in Ukraine transcended what was initially seen as an internal Ukrainian political crisis into violent clashes in parts of the country, later reaching full- scale conflict in the east. Despite the Minsk cease-fire, the situation in Ukraine has since continuously deteriorated, with serious consequences for the country's unity, territorial integrity and stability.
From mid-April to 12 December, at least 4,707 people were killed and 10,322 wounded by fighting. Since the tenuous ceasefire began, at least 1,357 fatalities were recorded. Moreover, the UN has recently reported that since March 2014, more than one million people have been displaced from the conflict-affected areas, including nearly 530,000 people within Ukraine, of who at least 130,000 are children.
In their press statement, the Council Members also underlined the need for the 'full implementation' if the Minsk protocol and welcomed yesterday's joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, the Russian Federation and Ukraine amid attempts to broker a peace.