Why Are Civilian Casualties Increasing in Eastern Ukraine?

Since mid January, civilians have increasingly been killed or wounded in eastern Ukraine as fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists has intensified.

Most recently two unguided rocket attacks killed at least 41 civilians, including two children, and wounded more than 100 civilians, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) earlier this week.

In one of these attacks a two year old girl was killed. Her mother Oksana Topalova told HRW  in the video above what happened and it’s heart wrenching.

The mother of a young child killed in the conflict speaks out about the horrors in Ukraine. (Image: Screenshot/Youtube.)

The mother of a young child killed in the conflict speaks out about the horrors in Ukraine. (Image: Screenshot/Youtube.)

HRW says a medical office collected information from both rebel and government controlled areas and reported that at least 341 people, including 71 women and six children had been killed in the Donetsk region in January alone.

The recent increase in civilian deaths are due to war crime violations, says HRW, mainly the unlawful use of unguided rockets being used in heavily populated areas.

Overall in the past nine months the war has killed over 5,000 people.

Out of concern that the situation could get even worse, many world leaders have flown into Kiev to try and broker a peace agreement between Russia and the Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined France’s François Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel on Thursday. Kerry said that Russian aggression has caused the increase in hostilities but that there’s a diplomatic way out of the crisis if Russia chooses to take that option.

News reports are also stating that the U.S. is mulling over supplying Ukrainian forces with weapons. So far the U.S. has only supplied humanitarian assistance.

On Friday, Merkel and Hollande are visiting Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin reports the New York Times.

 

 

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