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UN report on Ukraine biased, hypocritical — Russian Foreign Ministry

July 29, 2014, 13:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Thus it factually justifies the Ukrainian army’s punitive operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich says
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© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

MOSCOW, July 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Foreign Ministry has dismissed as “biased and even hypocritical” a United Nations report Moscow says seeks to justify “punitive” operations by government forces in Ukraine.

“Suffice to mention its key message that the Ukrainian government can legitimately use force for restoring law and order in the east of the country,” said ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich. Thus, it factually justifies the Ukrainian army’s punitive operation,” he added.

Moscow’s official comment rejects a report from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) based on findings by a UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine.

“The facts are distorted,” Lukashevich said. “It says that Kiev allegedly started a military campaign in response to actions of the militias. I would like to recall... that the local population took up arms to protect themselves and their families from ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis, including mercenaries.”

Rather, he said, commission efforts should be aimed not at justifying Kiev’s violence, but at working towards a ceasefire deal.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The report failed to note that Ukraine’s army and National Guard radicals at least four times used Grad multiple rocket-launch systems, killing 16 people and injuring many civilians, as had been confirmed by Human Rights Watch organisation monitors, the ministry official said.

The document lacked the key demand “to immediately stop the punitive operation conducted by Kiev authorities against their own people,” he added. “Without this, talk of human rights in Ukraine is senseless,” Lukashevich added.

Moscow urged the UN agencies “to take efforts not to directly or indirectly justify the violence of the Ukrainian authorities, but to assist a ceasefire accord and begin Kiev’s dialogue with representatives of the country’s east for the restoration of peace in the region,” he said.

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