Reports of civilian loss of life and injuries as violence rages in east Ukraine

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Jeffrey Feltman,Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs/UN Photo

Violence rages on in parts of east Ukraine, despite the recent presidential elections which the United Nations hoped would be a new chapter for the country.

That's what the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs told members of the Security Council on Wednesday.

Deploring the loss of life and injuries, Mr Jeffrey Feltman said both Lugansk and Donetsk Oblast in the eastern region have experienced a dramatic increase in deadly fighting since his last briefing.

While unable to confirm the details, he said there were reports of heavy weaponry being used and circulated in the area, as well as allegations of arms, fighters and trucks entering Ukraine.

"On 22 May, dozens of Ukrainian servicemen were killed and many others wounded in an ambush by unknown armed persons at a military checkpoint in the city of Volnovakha. On 26 May, fierce fighting ensued between Government forces and armed groups when armed militia stormed and attempted to seize control of the Donetsk International Airport. Ukrainian forces, after conducting an air and land operation, are now reportedly back in control of the airport, but sporadic fighting continues close to the airport."

Following the capture of four military monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), 11 additional monitors were briefly captured before being released, the UN political chief said.

There is still no news on the four military monitors that have been held for the past two days.

The Secretary-General has called for their immediate release and has appealed for "those with influence" to assist.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’44”

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