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Russian Foreign Ministry: Civilian casualties in Donbas may be underestimated by UN

December 17, 2015, 14:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
There are grounds to think that the UN’s assessment of civilian casualties does not reflect the real situation, and the number of civilian casualties is significantly higher, a Russian diplomat says
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. There are grounds to think that the UN’s assessment of civilian casualties of conflict in Donbas is underestimated, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov said on Thursday.

"According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the number of casualties of the internal conflict in Ukraine among civilians has reached at least 9,098 people killed and almost 21,000 people injured since April 2014 until 15 November 2015," Dolgov told the session of the Committee of public support to residents of Ukraine’s south-east. "There are grounds to think that these numbers do not reflect the real situation, and the number of civilian casualties is significantly higher," he noted.

"The situation with human rights in Donbas, those problems that exist in this sphere are direct consequences of Kiev’s months-long punitive operation," he continued. "On the rest of the Ukrainian territory, the situation with non-fulfillment of commitments in the sphere of human rights is the direct consequence of purposeful policy of Ukrainian authorities directed at ignoring relevant international obligations, at making legislative and administrative basis for ridding the entire political and informational space from any dissent, from those who express opinions even slightly different from the official stance," he concluded.

Minsk agreements on Ukraine

The Minsk accords were signed on February 12, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Minsk accords envisage ceasefire, weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbas, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

The Ukrainian forces and the self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics have repeatedly accused each other of violating ceasefire and other points of the Minsk agreements.

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