"Civilians residing along the approximately 500-kilometre-long contact line are significantly affected by the conduct of hostilities including the presence of Ukrainian Armed Forces, so-called "LPR" [People’s Republic of Luhansk] and so-called "DPR" [Donetsk People's Republic] armed formations and the use of heavy weapons in or near their villages, cities and towns… The sides continue to disregard standards of international human rights and rules of customary international humanitarian law resulting in undue suffering by the civilian population," the report dubbed "Hardship for conflict-affected civilians in eastern Ukraine" said.
According to the report, the conflict has led to division between communities, increasing "sense of isolation and vulnerability" among local residents.
In 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and neighboring People’s Republic of Luhansk, when they refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power after a coup. In 2015, the sides of the conflict reached a ceasefire agreement in Minsk after the negotiations brokered by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. The Minsk accord stipulated prisoners exchange, withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line in eastern Ukraine among other provisions.
However, the Minsk agreements have repeatedly been violated, with conflict escalation near the southeastern Ukrainian towns of Avdiivka and neighboring Yasynuvata in late January.