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Moscow: UN report on Ukraine distorts facts to justify punitive operation

Published time: July 29, 2014 09:38
Edited time: July 29, 2014 12:07
Ukrainian troops sit atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with a Ukrainian flag as a convoy rides past near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

Ukrainian troops sit atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with a Ukrainian flag as a convoy rides past near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

The UN is deliberately distorting facts in its latest report on the situation in Ukraine, justifying the violence conducted by the Ukrainian authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

The Ministry thinks that “the efforts of the Office of UN High Commission for Human Rights and the UN monitoring mission should be channeled not to directly or indirectly justify the violence carried out by the Ukrainian authorities, but to help ensure the ceasefire and to begin the dialogue between Kiev and the eastern representatives to restore peace in the region.”

Official representative of the Foreign Ministry Aleksandr Lukashevich said they has “carefully studied the latest, already the fourth, report published by the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, based on the information prepared by the UN monitoring mission.”

“The main conclusion: the report is not objective and is even hypocritical. It will just suffice to mention the message about the Ukrainian government having the right to legitimately use force to restore law and order in the east of the country. Thus, the operation conducted by the Ukrainian ‘punishers’ is essentially justified,” Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich said the Foreign Ministry carefully studied the report, which was based on the data prepared by the UN monitoring mission.

The Foreign Ministry said the report claims that Kiev began the campaign in response to the eastern militias’ actions – when in reality, the local population started to fight to protect themselves from ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazi groups, including those on the ground. This was mentioned as an example of “distorting the facts.”

The report didn’t even mention that the Ukrainian army and the radicals from the National Guard used Grad missiles, leading to the deaths of 16 people and scores of civilians being wounded – information confirmed by Human Rights Watch.

Also, the cases of detention and beating of Russian journalists from the Zvezda and Life News TV channels were ignored in the report. The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the statement that two Russian journalists of the All-Russian State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company could be killed by the Ukrainian army or by the militia is cynical.

However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the UN report does pay attention to a few important points in the conflict.

First, the report states that the disregard for legitimate demands for more autonomy and the use of the native Russian language in eastern Ukraine that lie at the heart of the conflict.

Second, the mounting number of victims is due to the random shelling of residential areas by the Ukrainian forces and the National Guard, according to the report.

The report also pays attention to the fact that there has been no progress in investigating the tragic events on Kiev’s Maidan, in Odessa and in Mariupol. And it’s hardly likely that any of these probes will be completed.

Finally, the report speaks about a “witch-hunt” carried out in Ukraine: the Kiev authorities are detaining anyone they suspect of supporting the eastern militia, are banning Russian TV channels, and deleting comments from social networks.