Management of the UN high Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) published its latest report on the observance of human rights in Ukraine. It covers the period from 16 November 2015 to 15 February 2016.
Silence does not come
The report States that despite the reduction of hostilities, military conflict continued to severely affect living in the conflict zone people and their rights. The government of Ukraine has no control over the portion of the border with Russia. “According to reports, this has facilitated the supply of ammunition, weapons and fighters from the Russian Federation on the territory controlled by armed groups,” written in the report.
Although from December 23, 2015 on-site was a “regime of silence” in January and February, the OSCE special monitoring mission observed systematic violation of fire, mainly in the areas of Donetsk and Horlivka (under the control of armed groups) and in smaller villages located at the contact line, such as Kominternovo, Shirokino and zaytsevo.
Both sides used heavy weapons.
Civilians as a shield
The armed forces of Ukraine continued to be close to towns and villages while the armed groups of insurgents “were introduced deeper into populated civilian areas, endangering the local population”, the report said.
Since 16 November last year to mid-February, the UN mission recorded the deaths of 21 civilians, 57 were injured, in the previous period (from 16 August to 15 November) 47 people were killed and 131 wounded.
All, according to the UN, during the conflict in Eastern Ukraine 9 were killed 167 people, injured 21 044 person. In the conflict zone population, according to the organization, 3 million people.
Independent military expert Pavel Felgengauer has no information about the real state of Affairs, but refers to the authority of the UN. “If this organization says about it, having observers on the ground, so it’s probably true,” says Felgenhauer.
The expert notes that such tactics of the separatists earlier said the Ukrainian military. Using residential areas as cover is a common practice, says Felgenhauer. “Civilians are hiding militants of Hezbollah, for example,” — recalls a similar experience of the expert.
Living in the conflict zone people told the mission representatives that they feel “abandoned by the authorities”. In some localities for months, there are no effective authorities in Kominternovo. Other settlements, such as Shirokino and zaytsevo, were divided into opposing forces. The line of demarcation insulated civilians, making it impossible to comply with all their rights and complicating the prospects for peace and reconciliation.
Residents of the territories controlled by DND and LNR, are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations. In DPR and LPR representatives of the mission continued to receive numerous testimonies of killings, unjust detention, torture and bad relationships. In these territories, armed groups have established a parallel “administrative institutions” and legislation that violates international law and the Minsk agreements, says the report.
Representatives from DND and LNR continued to prevent the UN experts to places of detention. Of particular concern to the mission was the situation of detainees in Donetsk and in Lugansk in the building of the “Ministry of state security”.
The office of the UN high Commissioner for human rights in its report also urged Kiev to investigate human rights violations during the blockade of the Crimea. “The government of Ukraine to investigate all allegations of human rights violations committed during the “civil blockade” on the administrative border between mainland Ukraine and Crimea, and to arrest criminals. To ensure public safety and the rule of law in the southern regions of the Kherson area”, — the document says.
According to the organization, during the siege of the Peninsula, during which activists “illegally carried out functions of law enforcement agencies,” was recorded a number of violations of human rights. It is noted that the food embargo and energoblok had serious consequences for some groups of people. In particular, the Crimean authorities were actually forced to direct all available energy resources in the most important objects of social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. “Power outages have influenced persons with reduced mobility and low income”, — the document says.
The report States that the lack of effective investigations into events in Odessa and on the Maidan undermines public confidence in the authorities and justice authorities.
“Now, after the UN report, as unlikely as it may seem, I would like to believe that those responsible for the blockade of the Crimea will get what they deserve,” he responded to the call of the UN, the Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky (quoted by Interfax).