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Some actions by Ukraine law enforcers in south-east can be called war crimes — Lavrov

October 28, 2014, 9:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Those observing the situation understood that this is impermissible to justify in any way what National Guard units did, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Some actions taken by Ukrainian law enforcers in the country’s troubled south-east can be called war crimes quite definitely, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with TV news channel LifeNews and Izvestia daily.

In his words, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed in its latest report that “the whole scope of action taken by Ukrainian law enforcers in south-east Ukraine can be called war crimes quite definitely.”

“For the first time this report lacks a statement which previous reports by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights contained, saying that the Kiev authorities can use proportional force to regain control over the whole territory of the country in view of threats to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Russian foreign minister said.

“Obviously those observing the situation understood that this is impermissible to justify in any way what National Guard units did, as well as battalions formed by oligarchs and formally subordinate to the Interior Ministry, but in fact they have taken decisions independently, violating well-known laws of waging military action.”

The minister noted that by the present moment “around four thousand those killed and several dozen thousand wounded were officially documented and confirmed by data produced by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers and UN bodies in humanitarian law and rights protection.” “There are also those missing, mass graves which were found recently,” Lavrov noted.

Seeking compromise on disengagement line

A disengagement line between the conflicting parties in south-eastern Ukraine is about to be established finally, Lavrov said.

“We hope that this line will be agreed upon in the next two or three days,” he noted. “After this, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry by both conflicting parties will become possible which will certainly be a crucial factor for calming down the situation and ruling out any incidents. In the scope of places, they are still situated too closely to each other and some incidents occur sometimes. But a disengagement line is about to be defined finally.”

Commenting on the fulfilment of the Minsk peace deals, the minister admitted that both conflicting parties had made several violations.

“This is mainly caused by the fact that Ukrainian law enforcers and militias cannot agree on a disengagement line,” the Russian foreign minister said. “There are specially negotiated distances, but the very line is not established yet," Lavrov noted.

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