EPRS Admin By / February 4, 2022

Conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas Combatant fatalities by month

Conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas: Combatant fatalities by month

Conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas: Combatant fatalities by month

Following the 2014-2015 fighting started by Russian-backed separatists, the separatists took control of approximately a third of the territory of Donbas in eastern Ukraine, adjacent to the south-eastern Ukraine-Russia border. Since 2014, when the Minsk Protocol – the peace plan for Ukraine (later supplemented by the ‘Minsk II’ agreement) – was agreed, and the 2015 formation of the ‘Normandy Four’ group of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine agreed on a new ceasefire and implementation of additional measures, progress has been limited. However, a renewed ceasefire in July 2020 caused a sharp decline in the intensity of violence in the second half of 2020.
Unfortunately, this positive trend was reversed in early 2021. The OSCE reports a death toll of over 14 000 people. Since the start of the conflict, almost 1.5 million people have been displaced and 3.4 million people have been identified as in need of humanitarian assistance. In 2021, the EU dedicated €25.4 million for the conflict-affected population.
In 2020 alone, the OSCE reported more than 134 000 violations of the pre-agreed ceasefire, including 3 200 instances of use of explosive devices and 850 access restrictions undermining fulfilment of the mandate given to the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) and posing a threat to civilians. Furthermore, armed formations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions frequently deny the SMM access to areas adjacent to the Ukraine-Russia border but which are outside the government’s control, thus undermining efforts to stop the influx of weapons and militants into Ukraine, as mandated by the OSCE. Following his January 2022 trip to eastern Ukraine, HR/VP Josep Borrell underlined that ‘Russia is a party to this conflict, and not a mediator as it often claims’.


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