2014-10-07 18:32:00

Residents shaken after ceasefire violations in Ukraine

(Vatican Radio) At least 80 fighters and civilians are now known to have died in clashes in eastern Ukraine since a ceasefire was announced there a month ago, making it difficult for many displaced people to return home.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report: 

The ongoing violations prompted the United States to send its assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, to travel to Kiev to discuss the crisis with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, though no immediate breakthrough was expected. 

Residents in Ukraine's strategically located eastern city of Donetsk regard the September 5th ceasefire agreement as a worthless document. 

"All the balconies were damaged by shrapnel, everything is burning," said resident Valentina Kovaleva. “Can you imagine, if we hadn’t sent away the children, they would be dead now. Every day there is shooting. Every day there is crying.”

And, 75-year-old Raisa Kozlova, who was injured by shelling, suggests the truce was signed by officials removed from everyday realities. “What truce? You call that a truce?," she wondered. "They might make agreements and have talks. But it changes nothing. We’re still being bombed.”


The United Nations now says more than 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.  

Russian officials put the number of Ukrainian refugees now in Russia at 1 million. But Ukrainian authorities claim that number is vastly exaggerated by Moscow for political reasons.

While those displaced face new hardships, men, women and children have told reporters they are happy to be out of the firing line.  

Ongoing clashes killed more than 3,500 people, including at least 80 fighters and civilians in the past month alone. 


Russia denies Western allegations that it supports the rebels. 

Yet neighboring states such as Poland are concerned that Russia wants to invade more nations.  

However NATO's new secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said in Warsaw this week that the Western military alliance supports Poland other NATO member states. He also warned Moscow that NATO could deploy forces wherever it wants.  

His comments raised doubts over post-Cold War agreements that have been shaken by Russia's takeover of Crimea and its alleged actions in eastern Ukraine.

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