“We have to note that this report has little in common with the actual state of affairs with human rights in Ukraine. The total absence of objectivity, blatant discrepancies and “double standards” leave no doubt that its authors fulfilled a political order to “whitewash” the self-proclaimed authorities in Kiev,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a commentary published on the ministry’s website.
“The authors cynically described the actions of certain pro-Russian activists as the reason behind the massacre in Odessa. But they did not say a word about how the extremists and neo-Nazis went berserk and burned peaceful citizens of Ukraine alive, finished off the injured and fired at people in the windows of the Trade Unions House. Any information about either the criminal lack of action on the part of law enforcement agencies or the subsequent detentions of federalization supporters is also absent. The whole situation was presented effectively in official Kiev’s interpretation,” Lukashevich said.
“The authors of the document once again preferred to overlook the most serious violations of human rights by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities, including abductions, reprisals, torture, illegal detentions for political motives, the arbitrary and disproportionate use of force, including military force, etc. What is noteworthy is that on the more than 30 pages of the report they were unable to find any place at all for the subject of the expressions of aggressive Nazism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine,” he said.
Lukashevich voiced his “profound regret over the fact that the report effectively serves to justify the criminal “punitive” operation in southeastern Ukraine, but keeps silent on civilian casualties and makes an attempt to impose responsibility for all ongoing human rights violations on the “pro-Russian forces” even though many steps taken by the Kiev authorities in the southeast [of Ukraine] have the attributes of war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
“Obsessive and sometimes even clumsy attempts to make certain facts and information sources match the earlier formulated conclusions, justification of the Kiev “junta” and demonization of the protest movement in the southeast, are also quite conspicuous. Furthermore, there were selective references to the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsak,” Lukashevich said.
“Symptomatically, it was not accidental that the “opus” prepared by OHCHR was presented to the broad public exactly in Kiev and by no less than UN Assistant Secretary General [for Human Rights] Ivan Simonovic, who is known for his partisan, biased and non-objective assessments of the human rights situation in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry already noted on March 17 this year that the stance taken by this UN official called into question the independence and impartiality of OHCHR work. The new report confirms this explicitly,” Lukashevich said.
Confrontations and the military operation in southeast Ukraine have taken 127 lives, Ivan Simonovic, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Human Rights, said citing information from the Ukrainian authorities and civil society activists.
He presented the second report of the UN human rights observation mission in Ukraine at a press conference in Kiev on Friday and said the human rights situation in eastern and southern Ukraine had been significantly aggravated by the operations of armed units.
Simonovic expressed profound concern about the worsening human rights situation in southern and eastern Ukraine and the growing number of armed groups committing illegal acts.
In his words, the mission learned about 112 illegal detentions in southeastern Ukraine and was worried about 49 people, who continued to be kept illegally.
According to Simonovic, abuses of the sort demonstrated a decline in the respect for law and order in those areas of the country.
A growing number of armed people are involved in the protest demonstrations and the accessibility of weapons is mounting, he said.
Simonovic pointed out that the Ukrainian police often failed to do enough for averting clashes.
For instance, it seems that law enforcers contributed to the tragic Odessa events of May 2 and the death of 48 people, the UN official said.