MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A total of 26 civilians were killed in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbass during the three months starting from May 16, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report published on Tuesday.
"From 16 May to 15 August 2017, OHCHR recorded 161 conflict-related civilian casualties (26 deaths and 135 injuries), slightly more than half of which were caused by shelling," the report said.
According to the report, the number of civilian casualties has decreased by 14 percent if to compare with the similar period of 2016.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the report, expressing concern over the findings of the recent UN report on the situation in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region, which revealed numerous violations of human rights in the area.
"We express deep concern over the high level of violence in Donbas. We support the mission's call on the side to the conflict to accurately implement the ceasefire agreement. We are sorry that the so-called harvest ceasefire announced on June 24 had repeatedly been violated by Kiev and the armed formations under its control."
"We are seriously concerned by the UN conclusions about Kiev's inhuman discrimination policy in relation to the Ukrainian citizens living in Donbas. The authorities' refusal to pay out the pensions and social benefits left around 4 million people on the verge of poverty," the ministry concluded, calling for compliance with the Minsk ceasefire agreements.
Kiev launched a military operation in Ukraine’s southeast in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of what was considered by Donbass residents as a coup. The conflict resulted in a major humanitarian crisis. According to the OHCHR, over 2,500 civilians were killed and about 7,000-9,000 civilians were injured during the crisis, while the total casualties reached 10,225 people killed and 24,541 injured.
The latest ceasefire in Donbass was dedicated to the start of the school year with Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics' representatives accusing Kiev of not abiding by the truce.