An armed pro-Russian separatist of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) walks in front of the destroyed Donetsk International Airport, in Donetsk, on June 1, 2016. (Xinhua/AFP)
KIEV, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 478 civilians were either killed or injured during the conflict in eastern Ukraine last year, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Thursday.
Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine, told reporters that 40 children were among those who were affected by the hostilities in 2017.
Last year, the OSCE monitors have documented more than 400,000 cases of ceasefire violations in the conflict-hit region, Hug said.
Besides, in 2017, the observers saw over 4,000 pieces of heavy weapons, including mortars, artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems beyond the withdrawal lines, he added.
In 2016, the OSCE recorded about 400 conflict-related civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine.
The confrontation between government troops and pro-independence insurgents has been spreading in Ukraine's east since April 2014, killing more than 10,000 people, including civilians and combatants on both sides, and leaving about 24,000 others wounded.