New York, NY (UCCA) – According to the United States Mission to the OSCE, the number of ceasefire violations over the past 48 hours in and around the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka is now “uncountable, with explosions surpassing 2,300.” Seven Ukrainian soldiers have been killed defending their homeland and dozens more have been wounded. Damage from this recent bombardment has stranded 17,000 people in Avdiivka without water, electricity, or heat in freezing conditions; a conservative estimate lists 2,500 of these individuals as children. Up to 400,000 individuals in the surrounding area are also at risk of hypothermia with temperatures dropping to lows of - 4° F overnight.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the nation’s largest representative body of Americans of Ukrainian descent, calls upon the United States and the international community to voice their strong condemnation of such attacks and immediately increase pressure on Russia in order to prevent the renewal of full-scale hostilities in Donbas. The use of “Grad” multiple rocket systems, artillery of 152 mm and 122 mm, mortars of 120 and 82 mm, are all prohibited by the Minsk agreements and this violation warrants the strengthening of targeted economic sanctions against the Russian Federation until they fully comply with their international obligations. All covert and overt Russian forces and equipment must be removed from Ukraine, including a withdrawal of any territorial claim over the Crimean peninsula.

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