MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Since the beginning of the Kiev-led military operation, 523 people have died with more than 3,000 injured in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the republic's Moscow representative Andrei Rodkin said on Monday.
Rodkin added that on the territories, not controlled by independence supporters, the number of deceased, including secret burials, is now more than 1,500.
“We are now talking about humanitarian catastrophe in southeast Ukraine,” said the representative, noting that residential areas are the most common targets of shellings and that 60 percent of homes in Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Horlivka and Dzerzhinsk are destroyed.
Kiev has been conducting a military operation in eastern Ukraine against those unhappy with the February overturn of the political order since April. According to data obtained by the UN and the World Health Organization, 1,129 civilians were killed and 3,442 were injured between mid-April and July 26.
Moscow sees the military operation as punitive and has called for the Ukrainian government to stop it.