MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – More than 950 civilians have been killed since mid-March in the military conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region, the region’s health department said Wednesday.
"All together since the beginning of counting the victims during the events that began on March 13 in the Donetsk region, 1,748 individuals have been injured, and 951 have been killed," the health department said in a statement.
In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation in southeastern Ukraine after a number of regions refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s new government following a February 22 coup and overthrow of the previous authorities.
The fighting intensified after the Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed themselves independent people’s republics.
Moscow has described the ongoing military actions as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that have occurred in Ukraine in recent months.
The flow of Ukrainian refugees to Russia has increased dramatically since June. According to the latest data provided by Russian authorities, more than 730,000 Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since the beginning of the conflict.