GENEVA / UKRAINE UPDATE

14-Feb-2017 00:02:30
Intensified fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian armed forces near densely populated areas in eastern Ukraine is endangering civilians, the top UN representative in the country told reporters in Geneva today. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE UPDATE
TRT: 2:30
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATTS
DATELINE: 14 FEBRUARY 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine:
“The situation in eastern Ukraine is actually quite serious, you will be aware that between 21 January and 3 February the fighting intensity increased. There was extremely intense from the 29th until the 3rd February. During this time, the violation of the ceasefire were over 30,000 compared normally what we would get not even 30,000 over the course of a month. So in a period of a week to 10 days we had more violations of the ceasefire than you would have normally in a month.”
4. Close up, UNDP paper
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine:
“The approximation of fighting forces, armed separatists in the east and government troops, the distance separating them has narrowed, has narrowed incredibly. And they are now face to face. You also have an increased presence of heavy weapons directly in violation of the Minsk accord.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine:
“The humanitarian situation also is quite critical. Let’s not forget temperatures in the past weeks have been between 10 and 20 below zero Centigrade. There is a number of a critical civilian infrastructure that is endanger. We have for instance a Fino chemical plant which has enormous potential to do severe environmental damage if the shelling is continued and it is damaged further.”
8. Close up, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine:
“We would also encourage both sides to remove military hardware from civilian areas and away from civilian infrastructure, because this simply encourages the fighting and the subsequent destruction of civilian infrastructure and homes.”
10. Close up, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine:
“There are probably between 800,000 and one million IDP’s in government controlled areas of Ukraine. We estimate another 200,000 have actually returned to non-government controlled areas from government controlled areas.“
12. Close up, journalist
13. Close up, laptop
14. Wide shot, briefing room
STORYLINE
Intensified fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian armed forces near densely populated areas in eastern Ukraine is endangering civilians, the top UN representative in the country told reporters in Geneva today.

“The situation in eastern Ukraine is actually quite serious, you will be aware that between 21 January and 3 February the fighting intensity increased,” said Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, citing frequent violations of the ceasefire and fighting near the towns of Avdiivka, Yasynuvata, Makiivka and Donetsk.

"There was extremely intense fighting from the 29th until the 3rd February" Walker recalled. "During this time, the violation of the ceasefire were over 30,000 compared normally what we would get not even 30,000 over the course of a month. So in a period of a week to 10 days we had more violations of the ceasefire than you would have normally in a month,” he said.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted after Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula in March 2014. A ceasefire was eventually negotiated in Minsk, Belarus, in February 2015 but there have been frequent violations. The latest truce began on 23 December last year.

"The approximation of fighting forces, armed separatists in the east and government troops, the distance separating them has narrowed, has narrowed incredibly, Walker said. "And they are now face to face. You also have an increased presence of heavy weapons directly in violation of the Minsk accord,” he added.

Walker also mentioned that the humanitarian situation is quite critical. “Let’s not forget temperatures in the past weeks have been between 10 and 20 below zero centigrade”, he said.
The UN Resident Coordinator also warned about environmental damage to critical civilian infrastructure due to shelling. “We have for instance a phenol chemical plant which has enormous potential to do severe environmental damage if the shelling is continued and it is damaged further,” Walker said.

“There are probably between 800,000 and one million IDP’s in government controlled areas of Ukraine, " Walker estimated. "We estimate another 200,000 have actually returned to non-government controlled areas from government controlled areas,“ he said.

Since the beginning of the conflict in April 2014, around 10,000 people have been killed in the violence, with civilian’s death on the rise.
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