Global alarm over Ukraine fighting

- Agence France-Presse, Avdilvka (Ukraine)

Feb 2, 2017-

The death toll from the latest escalation in fighting in Ukraine rose to 19 on Wednesday as international alarm rang out over the spike in bloodshed in the European Union’s back yard.

Government forces and Russian-backed separatists exchanged mortar and rocket fire for a fourth day around the flashpoint eastern town of Avdiivka just north of the rebels’ de facto capital Donetsk.

The Ukrainian military said three of its soldiers had died overnight while the rebels said four civilians had been killed.

Hundreds of mourners laid flowers on Kiev’s Independence (Maidan) Square as Ukrainian servicemen carried the coffins of comrades killed in the latest surge of fighting. The clashes in Avdiivka have left more than 20,000 people without heat or water in freezing winter weather with no signs of relief in sight.

The fighting comes at a potential watershed moment for Ukraine as fears mount 

in Kiev that staunch US support could be set to wane with President Donald 

Trump looking to mend ties with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

An emergency UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday called for an immediate 

end to fighting in a near three-year conflict that has plunged Moscow’s relations with 

the West to a post-Cold War low.

The council expressed “grave concern” about the resumption of serious battles in one of Europe’s bloodiest conflicts since the 1990s Balkans wars.

Published: 02-02-2017 08:35

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