Updated 09:29 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - A Swiss Red Cross worker was killed on Thursday in heavy artillery bombardment of central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said.
A RIA Novosti correspondent earlier reported that downtown Donetsk was targeted by mortar fire followed by shelling from Grad and Uragan multiple-launch rocket systems.
"The total number of victims is still unknown. We know for certain that Swiss citizen Laurent Etienn, a worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was killed in the shelling," the DPR ministry said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, the prime minister of Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko told RIA Novosti that the aggravated situation in the region may have a negative impact on the process of the Minsk talks on Ukraine. He added, however, that Donetsk will continue conducting prisoner swaps with Kiev.
On Wednesday, the shelling of Donetsk by Ukrainian forces left 11 people dead and around 40 injured. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violence.
Ukraine has been engulfed in a violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began its military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. The conflict claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people, according to the UN.
The sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in Minsk on September 5.
Since the establishment of the ceasefire regime, the conflicting sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the agreement. However, the OSCE stated that the truce was generally holding.