MOSCOW, September 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The head of the security and anticorruption committee of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, Irina Yarovaya, on Monday blasted genocide of the Russian-speaking population in southeast Ukraine.
Earlier Monday, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told ITAR-TASS that his committee initiated a criminal case over genocide of Russian speakers in southeast Ukraine, where at least 2,500 died in fighting between Ukrainian troops and local militias.
“Genocide of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine’s southeast is monstrous and evident. The decision to launch a criminal case under Article 357 of the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code certainly has all grounds from the viewpoint of the law,” Yarovaya told ITAR-TASS.
She said “this is an accusation of new fascists of mass and cruel murders covered up by the Kiev authorities and overseas patrons who should not escape responsibility on behalf of all citizens of Russia and all Russian world”.
“It’s an accusation on behalf of all who are against war and fascism,” the lawmaker added.
In line with the Russian Criminal Code, genocide is punishable by 12 to 20 years or life in prison.
Some 3,500 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s war-torn southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.