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Russian ombudsman urges the West to reject double standards in Ukraine

December 29, 2015, 0:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman, the situation with human rights has not improved in the past year
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A soldier inspecting Donetsk Airport, Ukraine

A soldier inspecting Donetsk Airport, Ukraine

© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Western politicians should reject double standards and stop doing nothing in the hope that "the Kiev authorities will start putting into practice their numerous pledges," Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman told Russian News Service radio on Monday.

"How many eloquent speeches have Western colleagues made at the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and other international formats, saying there should be no place for impunity," Konstantin Dolgov said.

"And we are asking the question - where is this remarkable verbally aligned approach in respect to Ukraine?" he asked. "Political will is needed. It is necessary to understand that these double standards definitely undermine the concept of human rights," he went on. "And of course they cast a shadow on the image of the West, Western countries, in particular the European Union, in this respect," said the ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The situation with human rights

According to Dolgov, the situation with human rights has not improved in the past year. The "sniper case" on Maidan (when snipers were shooting at protesters and police in Kiev during riots in February 2014), a massacre in Odessa (when people burned alive in the Trade Unions House), the shooting of civilians in Mariupol, as mass burials in Donbass have remained unpunished, he said.

Dolgov said there was no progress as to human rights and supremacy of law in Ukraine. "Where is a coherent reaction from the West? We didn’t see it at the start of the year, we don’t see it at the end of the year," he said.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Zvezda television that official statements of EU politicians as concerns relations with Russia because of Ukraine were now increasingly often at variance with their point of view voiced out of public view.

The southern Ukrainian city of Odessa saw riots on May 2, during which soccer fans from other cities, as well as Right Sector militants and so-called "Maidan self-defense" representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets. Clashes with federalization supporters occurred during the march.

Radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian. The attackers did not let anyone leave the burning Trade Unions House building.

At least 48 people died and 247 were injured in the clashes and the fire in the Trade Unions House. Another 48 people were listed as missing. Some Ukrainian politicians asserted that the death toll reached 116 but that the Kiev authorities concealed the facts. Investigators have so far failed to name those guilty of the crime.

In Mariupol in the Donetsk Region, Ukrainian law enforcers opened fire from armored vehicles on participants of a rally held in honor of Victory Day on May 9 who gathered near the building of the local Interior Ministry department and who were trying to prevent its storm. Nine people died and 42 were injured.

Southeastern militias recently found a few mass graves at sites where Ukrainian troops had been stationed. It was reported on September 23 that militiamen found unidentified burial sites in the vicinity of the villages of Kommunar and Nizhnyaya Krynka in the Donetsk Region. After examination of one of the graves, forensic experts concluded that people buried there had been killed by shots to the head at close range.

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