UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The fighting in Avdiivka has left at least 2,500 children with no heating, electricity or water, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement.
"Not only are the lives of thousands of children in Avdiivka, and on all sides of the conflict, at risk, but to make matters worse, the lack of water and electricity means that homes are becoming dangerously cold and health conditions deteriorating as we speak," Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, said as quoted in the Wednesday statement.
According to UNICEF, the electricity and water infrastructure in Avdiivka was damaged on January 29-30 amid temperatures of below 17 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), leaving over 17,000 people, including at least 2,500 children, with no means of heating in the cold weather.
The situation near the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk region has been tense for several days amid fighting between Kiev forces and militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The conflicting parties have both accused each other of initiating the violence and have both suffered casualties.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in Ukraine’s southeast, were proclaimed after the 2014 coup in Ukraine. Residents of Ukraine’s southeastern areas refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which prompted Kiev to launch a military operation in the region.
According to UN data, over 10,000 people have lost their lives because of the internal conflict in Ukraine.