Skip to main content

Kiev continues to violate international humanitarian law - UN report



A firefighter after extinguishing a fire in a residential building caused by a projectile hit during an artillery shelling by the Ukrainian military in Donetsk.(RIA Novosti / Igor Maslov)

The UN in its report urges the Ukrainian authorities to exercise greater control over their own army and groups of armed volunteers, as since the beginning of the so-called “anti-terrorist” operation on August 25 according to the Ukrainian Security Service, over 1,000 people have been detained on suspicion of being “militants and subversives.”

The report also highlights that the civilian population is suffering, in particular, because of the bombing of densely populated neighborhoods with heavy artillery. “Some of the reported cases of disproportionate use of fire in residential areas are committed by Ukrainian armed forces,” stated the document.

“After the announcement of the ceasefire on September 5, the scope and intensity of military operations decreased sharply, but not completely,” the document says, adding that civilians “continue to fall under the cross-fire and cross-bombing.”

The UN also reported an increase of “foreign mercenaries” in the ranks of the armed forces of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, “including citizens of Russia.”

 Meanwhile the issue of mass graves recently found near Donetsk was not reflected in the document, TASS reports, as they were discovered outside the period under review and formally not subject to consideration by the rights monitoring mission of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary
Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.

Analysis


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge


In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.

Analysis


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…