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UN Issues New Report on Ukraine Conflict

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Findings say life is 'particularly dangerous' for civilians living close to front lines

A new UN report published on Tuesday says there has been a decrease in the number of civilians killed in Ukraine’s ongoing conflict.

However, the international body says a ceasefire which began at the end of June has not been fully honored, with “hostilities suddenly flaring and then easing”.

Ukraine has been wracked by conflict in its eastern regions since March 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Conflict parties signed a Minsk cease-fire agreement in February 2015, with the mediation of France and Germany, but the fighting continued, claiming more than 10,000 lives overall, according to the UN.

People living close to where Ukrainian and pro-Russia separatist forces meet are bearing the brunt of the violence and disruption, with UN monitors saying daily life is “particularly dangerous” for civilians on both sides.

Covering a period from May 16 to Aug. 15 this year, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 26 conflict-related civilian deaths and 135 injuries.

Overall, the UN estimates at least 2,803 civilians have been killed, and between 7,000 and 9,000 civilians injured during the whole conflict, which has seen parts of Ukraine annexed or breaking away to try and join Russia.

The new report also raises issues about what it calls “unlawful detentions, continued killings and enforced disappearances in the conflict zone”.

It also contains new allegations of torture, ill-treatment -- including sexual violence -- against detainees on both sides.

The UN Human Rights Office says it will issue a report later this month on the human rights situation in Crimea, as mandated by the UN General Assembly.

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