posted at 19:50
Author Name: Katherine Haddon
Biden in talks with Ukraine leaders as toll rises in east
Almost 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since a truce came into effect in September, an average of 13 people a day, the United Nations said Thursday, as the conflict in the east of the country drags on. On the eve of those talks, Yatsenyuk said he hoped for an announcement on further US assistance to Ukraine during Biden's visit following a $53 million package announced in September which included $46 million of security assistance. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine put the number of dead at 957 between September 5, when the ceasefire was signed, and November 18. Counting the 298 people who died in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in July, the overall toll since mid-April, when fighting started, stood at 4,317 deaths as of Tuesday. One Ukrainian soldier said his right arm, bearing a "Glory to Ukraine" tattoo, had been chopped off with an axe by rebels. A separatist detained by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk said he had been repeatedly beaten and had a plastic bag placed over his head. It also highlighted the huge volume of people registered as displaced within Ukraine by the conflict, with the number soaring from 275,489 in mid-September to 466,829 as of Wednesday. The OSCE has nearly 300 observers working in Ukraine to monitor the ceasefire which has stopped fighting around much of the conflict zone but failed to halt bombardments at strategic flashpoints. In September, the US announced a fresh $53 million aid package, including non-lethal military equipment, to Ukraine but Kiev wants Washington to go further and provide lethal assistance.

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