UN report highlights deterioration of human rights situation in Eastern Ukraine

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July 29,2014 93

UN report highlights deterioration of human rights situation in Eastern Ukraine


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in its latest report on Ukraine released on 28 July 2014, noted a deterioration of the human rights situation in Eastern Ukraine.

The 65-page report, which covers the period from 8 June 2014 to 15 July 2014, highlights that since mid‑April 2014, 717 people have been abducted by armed groups in Eastern Ukraine, among them journalists, OSCE representatives, civil servants and civilians, including 392 girls and women. Many victims have been tortured and the whereabouts of 375 people remain unknown.

The escalating conflict has resulted in over 1000 civilians being killed with the numbers increasing due to the intense fighting using heavy weaponry in and around population areas.

The report indicates the involvement of Russia in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine by stating “The professionalization of the armed groups fighting in the east has become openly acknowledged and self‑evident. Their leadership, many of whom are nationals of the Russian Federation, are trained and hardened by experience in conflicts, such as in Chechnya (Russian Federation) and Transnistria (Republic of Moldova).”

An immediate impact outside the war-torn regions has been the increase in the number of internally displaced persons – the majority of whom are women and children – having to be accommodated in the rest of the country. As of 15 July 2014, the report points out that 86,609 internally displaced persons have fled their homes in Crimea and the Eastern regions of Ukraine.

The UN report expresses concern about a potential new wave of internally displaced persons from Crimea in the next few months because of tightening restrictions, the continuing harassment and discrimination against ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and representatives of minority groups in general, as well as stringent limitations of the rights of association, peaceful assembly and expression.

“Russia’s military intervention in Eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea have already had a tremendous negative impact on the Ukrainian people. It is up to the international community to help Ukraine put an end to this violent aggression by the Russian Federation,” commented Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij.

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