The Elders – the collective of independent leaders that includes Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter – are deeply concerned at the increasingly volatile situation in Ukraine, where violent clashes between militias and Ukrainian forces threaten to escalate the crisis.

They deeply regret the loss of life and reiterate calls for the parties to reach a peaceful resolution through dialogue, to avert further tragedy and instability.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: "The tug of war in Ukraine is growing ever more dangerous for the people of Ukraine, for regional stability and for the parties who can influence the crisis. We urge Russia, the United States, and the European Union to make common cause and work together to stabilise Ukraine.

“Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be preserved. An unstable and fragmented Ukraine is not in the interest of Russia nor the West and certainly not the people of Ukraine.”

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