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Report on mass violations of human rights in Ukraine goes to Putin

May 05, 2014, 22:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian State Duma said it would use its parliamentary possibilities to make the facts stated in the White Book widely known

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MOSCOW, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. A report on mass violations of human rights in Ukraine submitted to President Vladimir Putin on Monday, May 5, is designed to draw international attention to the problem, the Kremlin said.

“This document has been published in public-domain resources and on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website to lend publicity to the results of the ministry’s work on the issue that tops the agenda, including the head of state’s one,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told ITAR-TASS.

Putin received the White Book, a report prepared by the Foreign Ministry, which lists numerous facts of human rights violations in Ukraine in the period from late November 2013 to late March 2014.

The document is based on information from Russian, Ukrainian and Western media sources, statements by representatives of the current authorities in Kiev and their supporters, eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot observations and interviews of Russian non-commercial organisations.

The data in the report make it possible to assert that severe violations of the basic human rights’ principles and norms have taken on a mass nature in Ukraine.

The main purpose of the White Book is to provide the public with facts and evidence of the events in Ukraine, thus helping to form non-politicised, unbiased assessments and to call to account those who are responsible for the illegal actions.

Purges, repressions and physical violence have become commonplace in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Book consists of several sections. The first of them lists clashes between extremists and law enforcers, and facts of extortion and blackmailing. It also contains evidence of torture of political opponents by extremists who poured gasoline on the former and threatened to set them on fire, beat them with spades and drove needles under their nails.

The second section deals with instances of interference by foreign countries in events in Ukraine, including visits to the Maidan (Kiev’s Independence Square, the scene of confrontation and mass unrests in late 2013 and early 2014) by European Parliament deputies and diplomats from Europe and the United States.

A separate section describes extremists’ tactics used in clashes with law enforcers and is based to a large extent on evidence provided by Ukrainian law enforcers themselves, including members of the Berkut anti-riot police force, which was accused of using violence against “peaceful” demonstrators in Kiev and eventually dissolved.

Another section focuses on censorship in Ukrainian mass media after the coup that brought the opposition to power and forced legitimate Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to flee the country. It also cites facts of ethnic strife and discrimination on linguistic, ethnic and religious grounds.

“The forceful seizure of power and the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine led to the collapse of the legitimate system of state power and to lawlessness. The rise of ultranationalist, extremist and neo-Nazi sentiment, religious intolerance and xenophobia, threats and pressure from ‘Euro Maidan’ leaders against their political opponents, purges, repressions, physical violence and downright banditry have become commonplace,” the ministry said.

The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) said it would use its parliamentary possibilities to make the facts stated in the White Book widely known.

The White Book was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website and presented to President Vladimir Putin on May 5.

“It is necessary to use all possibilities, including parliamentary ones, to make the events described in the White Book widely known and discussed in the world and key human rights organisations, and to ensure that they provide the basis for an impartial international investigation of the crimes committed in Ukraine,” MP Olga Batalina said.

She believes that the White Book “can open the eyes of the politicians who prefer to keep them tightly shut during the rampancy of fascism in Ukraine and who do not want to notice the bloody violence against peaceful people”.

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