UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Wednesday raised an alarm that an escalation of fighting in east Ukraine could lead to a deadly chlorine gas disaster.
Fighting between pro-Russian separatist fighters and Ukrainian troops has intensified near water, electricity and gas stations, threatening supplies in the Donetsk region as winter approaches.
Two water filter stations on both sides of the frontline dividing eastern Ukraine have been shelled over recent days.
"The UN is also extremely concerned about the possible release of hazardous chlorine gas stored at both filter stations. If a single 900-kilogram gas container is hit, anyone within 200 meters might receive fatal dose of the poisonous gas," said the UN resident coordinator Neal Walker in a statement.
Some 1.1 million Ukrainians could be deprived of clean water as a result of the fighting, he said.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict in east Ukraine that broke out in April 2014.
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of plotting and backing the separatists in retaliation for the February 2014 ouster of Kiev's Kremlin-backed regime.
Moscow denies playing any role in the war and accuses the West of plotting an illegal "coup" in 2014 that saw Russia lose control of its western neighbor.