Both sides in Ukraine conflict condemned over civilian deaths

Both sides in Ukraine conflict condemned over civilian deaths

The United Nations human rights office has condemned both sides fighting in Ukraine for killing civilians in indiscriminate shelling.

The report released by the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights office says up to 2,000 civilians have died in the two-year conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed rebels, nearly 90% of them in shelling of residential areas.

The authors cited executions by both Ukrainian forces and rebel groups of "significant numbers" of people who allegedly were affiliated with, or sympathetic to, the other side and of fighters who had surrendered or were out of action.

The report also claimed to have found cases of Ukrainian servicemen intentionally killed for revealing abuses by Ukrainian forces.

It also noted that no arrests have been made over the fatal shooting of 13 policemen in the capital Kiev during the final days of the massive street protests that drove Ukraine's Russia-friendly president to flee.

The human rights office said it was concerned that authorities had not conducted an effective investigation into the deaths of 48 people in the city of Odessa on a day of clashes in 2014 between supporters of the new pro-Western Ukrainian government and their opponents.

Some 42 of those died in a fire at a building where anti-government demonstrators had taken shelter. Many believe the blaze was started by firebombs thrown into the building.

Fiona Frazer, head of the UN human rights monitoring mission for Ukraine, said that her office has been in contact with the government about the report.

"There needs to be strong investigation in order to identify perpetrators of crimes committed, to bring justice to the victims and their families to end the continued suffering, and at the end of the day to ensure there is accountability in this country," she said.

Overall, the UN says more than 9,400 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since it broke out in the spring of 2014.


More in this Section

Dominic Cummings has made ‘mockery’ of public health advice, say expertsDominic Cummings has made ‘mockery’ of public health advice, say experts

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings say coronavirus affected their eyesightBoris Johnson and Dominic Cummings say coronavirus affected their eyesight

Memorial Day like no other for Americans under coronavirus restrictionsMemorial Day like no other for Americans under coronavirus restrictions

Trump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial DayTrump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial Day


Lifestyle

Retail withdrawal symptoms can be quelled with thoughtful online purchases for birthday gifts, to elevate our spirits and help small local and family run businesses, writes Carol O’CallaghanPoster boys: Guide to wall art you can source from local businesses online

Make everlasting mementoes and gifts by growing and drying your own flowers, with help from expert floral artist Bex Partridge.How to dry home-grown blooms

I went to Hanford high school in the US, there is a joke that we all glow in the dark.This Much I Know: Dr Cara Augustenborg, environmental scientist

My girlfriend and I live in a shared house, and she's excited by the idea of having sex during the day, while there are other people in the next room.Sex File: I don't like being spontaneous

More From The Irish Examiner