Fighting in eastern Ukraine has flared up again, which the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine described as a “hot war” after a recent uptick in violence led to 11 people being killed over the course of the last week.
“This is not a frozen conflict, this is a hot war and it is an immediate crisis that we all need to address as quickly as possible,” State Department special envoy Kurt Volker said while in the Donetsk region, according to Voice of America.
“It is truly a high degree of suffering, there was a high human cost to this conflict and that is another reason why it is so urgent that we address it,” he said.
Only recently appointed, Volker is responsible for negotiations between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists operating in the country’s east. A ceasefire has technically been in effect since 2015, but intermittent fighting has still occurred over the last two years.
After months of protracted talks, the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk was brought back into the spotlight after rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko declared Donetsk as independent of Ukraine last week. Called “Malorossiya,” the new ‘state’ plans on enveloping the remainder of Ukraine, although rebel leadership in Luhansk is not on board with such a declaration.