◾Over the last few days, the intensity of hostilities has drastically increased in eastern Ukraine and in particular in Donetsk region, where the fighting is concentrated in the triangle Avdiivka (Government Controlled Area, GCA), Yasynuvata (Non-Government Controlled Area, NGCA), Donetsk (NGCA). The ongoing shelling and continuous cease-fire violations led to several civilian causalities (including two civilians killed), damage to private housing and critical public infrastructure.
◾A serious escalation started on 29 January in Avdiivka, a town on Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Eastern Ukraine, close to the contact line and 6 km to the north of Donetsk. Heavy shelling affected residence areas and the town is cut off from electricity, heating and water. With temperatures dropping to -20C, about 17 000 people are directly affected. Mobile heating and food units have been set up in the city by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government prepared an evacuation plan for the residents to be relocated to the neighboring towns and made transportation and shelter available.
◾Due to the shelling, vital water infrastructure has been damaged and up to 1.1 million people are now completely without water, with heating systems severely at risk at the coldest time of the year. A ceasefire has to be urgently assured in order to allow for repairs before the heating systems collapse.