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Russian, Ukrainian human rights commissioners to meet in Kharkov

June 13, 2014, 7:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 13, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s human rights commissioner Ella Pamfilova will on Friday meet with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) human rights commissioner Valeriya Lutkovskaya and United Nations representatives in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

“The key discussion topic will be the sides’ interaction and monitoring of the human rights situation in Ukraine’s Southeast,” reads a statement on Pamfilova’s website.

Lutkovskaya’s press service said that “following the meeting, a human rights protection mission is to be created to monitor and prevent human rights violations on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.

Besides, Lutkovskaya and Pamfilova plan to issue a joint address to the conflicting sides in Ukraine’s southeastern regions regarding an immediate release of all forcibly held persons and the necessity to stop that unacceptable practice.

Clashes have been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

A Kiev-led punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's Southeast that involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has already claimed hundreds of lives, including civilian, and left some buildings destroyed and damaged.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. Their independence has not been officially recognized.

Russia has repeatedly called on Kiev to end the punitive operation and engage in dialogue with Ukraine’s Southeast.

New Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential elections and took office on June 7, has not given orders to stop the deadly operation.

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