Skip to main content

DRAMATIC SURGE IN TENSION IN UKRAINE FOR THE LAST MONTHS


Dramatic Surge In Tension In Ukraine For The Last Months
© AFP 2017/ ANATOLII STEPANOV
The UN has released a report (link) covering a dramatic deteoration of the situation in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine as well as a pure human rights situation and a systematic use of torture practices in Ukraine.
“The report covers the period from 16 February to 15 May 2017, during which the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) recorded 36 conflict-related civilian deaths and 157 injuries – a 48 per cent increase on the previous reporting period from 16 November 2016 to 15 February 2017. There were daily ceasefire violations and routine use of small arms and light and heavy weapons in the conflict zone. Such attacks and the resulting damage to critical infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and water facilities, raise serious concerns for the protection of civilians, the report notes. The report warns that, as summer approaches, there is a risk of further escalation in hostilities, as in previous years.”
Yesterday, the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry released a comment emphasizing facts of constant violations of the Minsk agreements by the Kiev government side. The Ukrainian authorities implements a policy aimed at desturction of a part of the Ukrainian citizens. People living in the conflcit zone as well as in other parts of the country are a target of this policy.
SouthFront provides a full text of the comment released by the Russian Foreign Ministry (link):
We have familiarised ourselves with the eighteenth report produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for the period from February 16 to May 15, 2017.
We are deeply concerned over a dramatic surge in tension in Donbass resulting in a 48 per cent rise in the number of civilian casualties during the period under review: 36 persons died and 157 were wounded. We support the Monitoring Mission’s call to strictly abide by the ceasefire agreement, addressed to the parties of the conflict. We share the concern made by the members of the mission over the unending shelling of civilian infrastructure facilities, in particular water supply and power supply systems, schools and hospitals, which is contrary to Kiev’s international commitments to protect civilians.  In this connection, we again entirely support the Monitoring Mission’s recommendations on the need for scrupulous compliance with the Minsk Agreements.
We are extremely troubled with the mission’s data on the new cases of illegal or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, enforced disappearances, and the Security Service of Ukraine’s systematic use of torture to obtain confession evidence from detainees suspected of involvement in the Donbass conflict. We agree with the UN that the lack of due investigation of the said crimes by the Ukrainian authorities is conducive to the expansion of lawlessness in the country as a whole.
We share the Monitoring Mission’s anxiety in connection with official Kiev’s inhuman and discriminatory efforts to maintain the socioeconomic blockade of Donbass. Introduced in 2016, the so-called verification procedures have deprived over 400,000 Ukrainians of their legal pensions, while the new rules regulating the crossing of the line of contact not only lead to a considerable restriction of the freedom of movement in Ukraine and further separation of families but also expose more than 900,000 people a month to the real mortal danger as they cross the internal border. The bans imposed by the Ukrainian government on the transfer of cargoes across the line of contact are totally irrational and lead not just to the closure of businesses but also to the loss of sources of income and means of livelihood for thousands of people.
The UN Mission’s alarming conclusions about the lack of improvement in the Ukrainian judiciary system or progress in the investigation of the May 2014 Odessa tragedy command attention as well.
We expect the Monitoring Mission to work on efforts to prevent restrictions concerning freedom of expression and pressure on the media in Ukraine and we urge Kiev to create safe working conditions for journalists.
At the same time, we must note that a portion of the report is politically motivated. An attempt is made in a number of its sections to exculpate the Kiev authorities and gloss over the crimes they commit against their own people. Also we would like to remind those concerned that the Republic of Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation  as well as the federal city of Sevastopol and that the attempt to include in the UN report on Ukraine an assessment of the human rights situation in this Russian region is illegal.
We are convinced that the UN and the human rights community will  make Kiev comply strictly with its international human rights commitments and norms of international humanitarian law and implement in good faith the Minsk Agreements, something that is due to facilitate the attainment of durable peace in that country.

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…