MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will persistently promote the initiative on setting up a humanitarian mission in violence-torn eastern Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry sharply criticized the Kiev regime for ignoring the obvious humanitarian crisis in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, where the civilian population has been caught in the midst of fighting between Kiev-led forces and pro-independence militia.
"We consider Kiev’s refusal to cooperate in satisfying the humanitarian needs of the population as an absolutely irresponsible attitude," the ministry said in a statement.
"Russia believes it is absolutely necessary to mobilize the international community for providing emergency assistance to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions where the residents are facing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe," the statement said.
"In this respect, Russia will persistently push forward with the initiative to set up a humanitarian mission in that part of Ukraine," the document said.
Russia held discussions on the situation with the UN leadership and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), during which the sides said they positively assessed Moscow’s initiatives and expressed readiness to join talks on deploying the humanitarian mission.
The ministry said citing a report by the mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), that since the start of the special operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, a total of 1,367 people have been killed and another 4,087 wounded, including 2,589 civilians and 29 children.
Nearly 3.9 million people are currently in the zone of military actions.
Up to 80 percent of houses have been destroyed in the region and around 200,000 people have been cut off water supplies. In the past week, the flow of internally displaced persons (IDPs) (112,000 people according to Ukraine’s data) and refugees (163,000 people according to Russia’s Federal Migration Service) has grown.
The most dramatic situation is in eastern Ukraine’s public health sphere. Some 70 percent of medical personnel have been forced to flee to safe regions and those remaining in the region face the risk of coming under fire, the ministry said.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.