UN warns of ‘alarming deterioration’ in human rights in eastern Ukraine
By End the Lie
The United Nations has issued a warning about an “alarming deterioration” of human rights in eastern Ukraine, a report which Russia claims ignored Ukrainian government abuses.
Read our latest: “Fears of civil war in Ukraine increase as armed volunteers fight pro-Russian separatists” and “Russia ‘respects the will’ of Ukrainians voting for autonomy, but stops short of annexing”
The report also stated that there are “serious problems” of harassment and the persecution of ethnic Tatars in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March and is made up mostly of ethnic Russians.
Violence between pro-Russian separatists and pro-Ukrainian forces has resulted in dozens of deaths in eastern and southern Ukraine this month.
On Sunday, the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence from Ukraine in a referendum. The U.S. viewed the referendum as illegitimate and Russia stopped short of annexing the territories as they have requested.
In addition, pro-Ukrainian volunteer forces are gaining in numbers in order to fight the separatists, which is raising concerns of a civil war.
The conclusions of the UN were detailed in a 37-page report, the second monthly assessment of the crisis in Ukraine.
“Those with influence on the armed groups responsible for much of the violence in eastern Ukraine [must] do their utmost to rein in these men who seem bent on tearing the country apart,” UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said in Geneva, according to the BBC.
The report notes a few troubling developments in eastern and southern Ukraine, including peaceful demonstrations that deteriorate into violence. The demonstrations reportedly consist mostly of supporters of Ukrainian unity.
Protesters have been attacked and beaten and local police do nothing to prevent the violence. Sometimes, the local police even co-operate with the attackers, according to the UN.
“UN monitors have also documented cases of targeted killings, torture and abduction, primarily carried out by anti-government forces in eastern Ukraine,” the BBC reports.
Russia’s foreign ministry, on the other hand, said that the UN report was not objective.
The foreign ministry said the authors followed “political orders” to whitewash the interim leaders in Kiev, who are pro-Western.
The report ignored “the crudest violations of human rights by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities,” according to the foreign ministry’s statement.
Meanwhile, some U.S. senators are taking steps to push America even further away from Russia.
Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation that would ban any Pentagon contracts with Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport.
The legislation would end all current contracts and forbid the direct or indirect use of American tax dollars on contracts or agreements with the Russian company, according to Fox News.
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