MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) – Only around 300,000 people out of population if 900,000 remain in Ukraine’s eastern city of Donetsk, Deputy Prime Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Andrei Purgin said in an interview with RIA Novosti Saturday.
Only one third of the people which had been living in Donetsk before the start of Kiev’s offensive against independence supporters remains in the city, according to Purgin.
“There used to be 900,000 people in Donetsk, one third of it is 300,000 people,” the official said.
The city is facing a humanitarian disaster, according to Purgin.
“There are big problems with social benefits and food supplies. The humanitarian situation is very bad, in fact, we can say there is a humanitarian catastrophe in Donetsk already,” the DPR prime minister added.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government after a February coup.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s military campaign against independence supporters in the east of the country and urged for an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Over 2,500 people, including the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash, have been killed and more than 6,000 injured since the start of Kiev’s military operation against the militias in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, according to the United Nations.