From a nearby building, a pro-Russian commander directs artillery fire upon the Ukrainian army positions at the airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, Oct. 4, 2014
Photo by Capucine Granier-Deferre/The New York Times/Redux

Death toll continues to rise despite cease-fire in Ukraine


At least 3,660 died and 8,756 have been wounded in eastern Ukraine since the conflict broke out in mid-April, according to the United Nations. Despite the last month’s cease-fire, the death toll is still rising.

A cease-fire between rebels and the government was announced last month, but since then violence has continued and 331 deaths have been recorded, though the U.N. notes that some may have died just prior to the cease-fire.

The U.N.’s findings signals that while American attention has shifted to the Ebola outbreak in western Africa and airstrikes in the Middle East, the situation in Ukraine is precarious at best and far from resolved.

The conflict between rebels fueled by Russia and the Ukrainian government has displaced residents and businesses and ravaged parts of eastern Ukraine; it also lead to the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH370, killing everyone aboard. 

“This cease-fire is increasingly fragile, with daily reports of skirmishes, shelling and fighting. Although there have been fewer casualties, civilians and military personnel continue to be killed on a daily basis,” explained the report, produced by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Russia has denied their involvement in the conflict, despite growing evidence that their weapons and soldiers are involved. The U.N. even notes that foreign fighters, likely from the Russian Federation, fueled particularly bad violence between August and September.

PHOTO ESSAY: Despite cease-fire, Ukraine violence far from over

The effects of the conflict have been huge for eastern Ukrainians, the U.N. notes.

More than five million residents have been deprived of their “basic human rights,” the U.N. reported in a press released on Wednesday, announcing the conflicts toll on the region. 

“For almost half a year, residents of the areas affected by the armed conflict have been deprived of their fundamental rights to education, to adequate healthcare, to housing and to opportunities to earn a living. Further prolongation of this crisis will make the situation untenable for the millions of people whose daily lives have been seriously disrupted,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Wednesday in a release.

Nearly 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses have been forced out of business and Ukrainian data suggests that 375,792 people have been displaced, the U.N. found. 

Human rights abuses have abounded, particularly by the rebel groups though government forces have also committed violations, the report notes. 

“Armed groups continued to terrorize the population in areas under their control, pursuing killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment and other serious human rights abuses, including destruction of housing and seizure of property,” the report notes. 



Death toll continues to rise despite cease-fire in Ukraine