Key aid provider says it can't operate in rebel-held east

The largest provider of humanitarian aid in rebel-held eastern Ukraine says its work there has been paralyzed.

The charity foundation run by billionaire Renat Akhmetov has been distributing food and other supplies to residents in the rebel-controlled east, where most of the international aid organizations have no access.

Akhmetov's foundation said in a statement on Wednesday that its work in the region has been paralyzed after rebels blocked access to Akhmetov's Shakhtar FC arena, which hosted the 2012 European football championships and now serves as a warehouse for the relief effort.

More than 9,800 people have been killed in fighting between Russia-backed separatists and government troops since 2014. Separatists do not allow Ukrainian aid and in recent months have barred virtually all international organizations from operating there.

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