13:21 GMT02 March 2021
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    A total of nine civilians were killed and 41 were injured in Donbas from January 29 through February 9, Alexander Hug, the principal deputy chief monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine, said Saturday.

    DONETSK (Sputnik) — The situation in southeastern Ukraine has escalated again over the past weeks, in particular near the town of Avdiivka in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), where clashes between Kiev forces and the local militia have intensified. The conflicting parties have accused each other of initiating the violence.

    "From January 29 through February 9, we confirmed 50 cases of civilians being injured, including nine fatally," Hug said.

    Last week, Putin explained three reasons behind the escalation in eastern Ukraine.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow had reliable data that the Ukrainian independent armed groups, supported by the Ukrainian Armed Forces' artillery, were behind the attack on Avdiivka.

    On Friday, a spokesperson of the Donetsk People's Republic ombudsman said that over 40 people had been killed in the DPR since the beginning of 2017 due to the recent escalation of violence.


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    civilian casualties, Ukraine, Donbass
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