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UN: Violence Slows in Ukraine, but Death Toll More Than 9,000


FILE - Members of the Ukrainian armed forces are seen near Artemivsk, eastern Ukraine, Feb. 23, 2015.

The United Nations' human rights office said more than 9,000 people have died in 21 months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, even though there has been a "sharp de-escalation of hostilities" since August.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said in its report released Wednesday that the withdrawal of heavy weapons following a new September 1 truce agreement has been instrumental in calming violence between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

But the report cautioned that skirmishes in early November may be early warning of an uptick in violence.

Wednesday's report covered mid-August to mid-November 2015.

It said at least 9,098 people, including fighters and civilians, have died since the violence erupted last year.