GENEVA- The death toll in Ukraine conflict that began last April now exceeds 5,000 and may be far more, the United Nations human rights office today.

"The significant escalation in hostilities has taken the toll to 5,086 individuals and we fear the real figure may be considerably higher," U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing in Geneva.

The toll includes 262 people killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the past nine days, "the most deadly period" since a ceasefire was declared in early September, he said.

The U.N. refugee agency said that new Ukrainian government security regulations were hampering efforts to deliver aid to conflict zones in the east and making life harder for the displaced.