Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ukraine Says 257 Dead in Southeast Offensive

Mounting Death Toll as Civilians Flee Region

By Paul Sonne, Alan Cullison and Katya Gorchinskaya, WSJ
June 11, 2014 10:29 a.m. ET

KIEV—Ukraine's Ministry of Health said 257 people have died in the country's restive southeast in the two months since Kiev launched a military offensive against pro-Russia separatists in the region.

Two hundred and 20 people in the Donetsk region and 37 people in the Luhansk region have been killed since April 15, according to a Ministry of Health spokeswoman.

The ministry didn't specify how many of the dead were Ukrainian soldiers, separatist militants or civilians. The figures didn't include people who died elsewhere in Ukraine this year, including more than 100 people who died during clashes on Kiev's Independence Square and about 40 people who died in an Odessa fire.

The mounting death toll comes as more civilians flee the two Russian-speaking regions as violence grows, with many of them heading to more peaceful areas of Ukraine or, in some cases, across the border to neighboring Russia. (Follow the latest updates on the crisis in Ukraine.)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Tuesday for the establishment of a "humanitarian corridor" that will allow civilians to leave the area, a move that the Kremlin has praised. It wasn't immediately clear how the corridor would function.

(More here.)

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