Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine peaks amid shelling in disturbed eastern areas


The prime minister of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, Aleksandr Borodai, has said that the situation in the region is “close to a humanitarian catastrophe”. “The region is facing a critical situation, close to a humanitarian catastrophe. There are serious problems with the water supply. As a matter of fact, many towns and villages are already in a state of humanitarian catastrophe,” he said at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council’s provisional commission for Ukraine situation monitoring on Tuesday.

Borodai said he was speaking about the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. He accused the Kiev authorities of seeking to “crush the will of Donbas people.”

“They want to crush our will for self-determination, our aspiration to live together with Russia. We are grateful to Russia for the humanitarian aid that you have been sending to us. We are grateful for any assistance and support. We are looking forward to it,” Borodai said.

The “people’s republic” hopes that this aid will not stop, he said. “And we will be able to defeat the invader with this assistance,” he added. For his part, a co-chairman of the People’s Front social and political movement in southeastern Ukraine, Oleh Tsaryov, who also attended the commission’s meeting, said he was convinced that this war would spread beyond the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

“This war will not stop in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Ukrainian [National] Guard is able to mobilize up to 500,000 people, and today they are randomly detaining people even in the central part of Ukraine threatening to arrest them and put them in prison,” he said. Tsaryov said he was aware of several dozen situations in which the Ukrainian National Guard killed soldiers who refused to fight against their own people. “This conveyor of death will keep rolling, and the situation is fraught with a large-scale war, which will play into Kiev’s hands amid the deteriorating economic situation. We need to be prepared for that,” he said.

Moscow has found ways to deliver humanitarian aid to people in east Ukraine without assistance from Kiev, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said.

“We tried to work it out with Ukrainian authorities; we sent them an official note in late May. They replied negatively in an official note,” he said. “We found ways and means to deliver the humanitarian assistance to the people in need,” the Russian diplomat stated after Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Coordination, held a closed-door briefing on Ukraine at the UN Security Council.

“People are coming across the border, taking humanitarian assistance and bringing it home,” the envoy said. His speech was posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page. As to whether the United Nations or third countries could use the same technique to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria, Churkin said, “They could. But the people who could conceivably have done it keep asking questions.”

The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s Volodymyr Chepovoy has claimed an epidemiological situation in Slavyansk and water supply problems in a number of populated localities in the Donetsk region.

Hospitals are not working in Donetsk, Kramatorsk, Slavyansk and a number of populated areas in the Slavyansk district, and ambulance service is slow, Chepovoy said. “There is an epidemiological situation in Slavyansk; the local sanitary and epidemiological station’s laboratory was damaged in the June 15 shelling and shut down. There is no drinking water control in the city and unauthorized burials of militants on the outskirts of the city and villages add to the problem,” the official said.

Pumping stations are damaged and there is no tap water supply in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka, Kostyantynovka and other populated areas. The water supply is limited in some other cities and may be disrupted in Donetsk and Makeyevka, Chepovoy said. “A similar situation may happen in Donetsk and Makeyevka which have water reserves for 14 and 19 days only,” he stressed.

Lugansk’s gov’t declares state of emergency

Lugank’s government has declared a state of emergency as Ukrainian forces have begun shelling the city. The city’s government has turned on an air-raid alarm. At the moment, Ukrainian forces are shelling the village of Metalist. They might use large-caliber weapons. No information about the victims is available.

Representatives of the Lugansk People’s Republic have claimed that aircrafts of the Ukrainian Air Force are approaching the city. The government has turned on an air-raid alarm, so that the citizens could find shelter during the shelling.


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