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Russian Foreign Ministry presents human rights violations book to OSCE

July 10, 2014, 20:20 UTC+3 VIENNA
Russia continues to gather facts of human rights abuses in Ukraine and includes them in the so-called 'White Book'
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

VIENNA, July 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has presented on Thursday its updated White Book on large-scale human rights violations in Ukraine to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Russia continued to assemble facts of human rights abuses, Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said, noting that the Foreign Ministry would keep a close watch on how the authorities in Kiev investigated tragic events in the southern city of Odessa and Ukraine’s east.

“We will be glad if investigations are conducted in an effective and transparent manner,” Dolgov told a briefing. “We will closely monitor results of these investigations,” he added.

“I think it is in everyone’s interests, including the Ukrainian side, that investigations produce concrete results, and those guilty are held accountable,” he said. “Continuing violations of rights and freedoms make us keep track of developments, record facts and present them to the international community.”

Latest updates from early April to mid-June concentrated on violations on the part of Ukraine’s authorities and armed forced, the diplomat said, noting that official Kiev refused to provide humanitarian safety corridors to evacuate civilians from the conflict zone in Ukraine’s east, while people's militia sought opening these corridors.

Speaking about the international community’s reaction to the White Book, Dolgov said they received responses mostly from Russian and foreign human rights organizations. “We do not expect an international consensus. It (the book) is not for it,” he said. “This is our contribution to the struggle against human rights violations.”

The White Book's list of abuses is published on the Foreign Ministry website. Content is based on information from Russian, Ukrainian and Western media sources, statements by representatives of current authorities in Kiev and their supporters, eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot observations and interviews with Russian non-commercial organizations.

Its purpose, the authors say, is to provide a public account of events, helping to form non-politicized, unbiased assessments and calling to account those responsible for violations.

Key charges relate to killings of civilians in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and events in Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces fired from armored vehicles on those rallying to honor World War II Victory Day.

Accounts also record a massacre in the southern city of Odessa, where dozens died in a fire started by Right Sector radicals and supporters by the Maidan self-defense forces.

Illegal arrests are noted of Russian television journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, detained by Ukraine’s National Guard near the city of Kramatorsk, and the killing of TV cameraman Anatoly Klyan in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.

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