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Turkey “comes closest” among other countries to fulfilling the role as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia on humanitarian issues, the U.N. humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement on Monday.
Briefing reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, Griffiths also said that humanitarian cease-fires between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Ukraine are not on the horizon right now, but may be possible in a couple of weeks.
Griffiths further added that Russian officials have not yet put local cease-fires at the top of their agenda.
He said that U.N. aid officials are planning to dispatch a humanitarian convoy in the next couple of days into the embattled eastern region of Donetsk and from there, send aid supplies into the Luhansk region.
Authorities in Ukraine’s western and southern regions of Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk reported earlier multiple explosions apparently caused by missile attacks as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.
Six people were killed and 11 wounded in Lviv where missiles struck military facilities and a car tire service point, regional governor Maksym Kozystkiy said.
After the sinking of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet last week in what the Ukrainians said was a missile attack, the Kremlin had vowed to step up strikes on the capital.
Russia said Sunday that it had attacked an ammunition plant near Kyiv overnight with precision-guided missiles, the third such strike in as many days. Explosions were also reported in Kramatorsk, the eastern city where rockets earlier this month killed at least 57 people at a train station crowded with civilians trying to evacuate ahead of the Russian offensive.
At least five people were killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Sunday, regional officials said. The barrage slammed into apartment buildings. The streets were littered with broken glass and other debris.