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Reports of mass graves near Donetsk to be investigated by UN

September 26, 2014, 14:31 UTC+3 GENEVA
The Russian Foreign Ministry, Russian parliamentarians, representatives of non-governmental and human rights organisations demanded an international investigation into this fact
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Ukrainian tank seen during fighting against militants in the beginning of August

Ukrainian tank seen during fighting against militants in the beginning of August

© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

GENEVA, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The monitoring mission of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Ukraine will investigate the reports suggesting that mass graves have been found near Donetsk, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva on Friday.

“Yes, we have seen these reports [about the mass burials] and certainly our team on the ground is going to investigate these allegations,” she told ITAR-TASS.

“There is a lack of clarity over a lot of matters - who could possibly be responsible, how many bodies were found exactly, our team plans to investigate it,” she said.

She said the mission’s mandate is limited to the analysis of human rights aspects, therefore, there is need of “independent, impartial investigation in line with international standards” with forensic experts involved, she added. She declined to give the names of the persons who will be investigating all the circumstances.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, Russian parliamentarians, representatives of non-governmental and human rights organisations demanded an international investigation into this fact.

Mass graves found on Ukrainian National Guard positions in eastern Ukraine

On September 23, reports came that Ukrainian people’s militia found mass burials in the area of mine No 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Medical examiners made a conclusion that bodies found in one of the graves were killed by point-blank shots in the head. It is known at this point about four killed. This area was previously controlled by the Ukrainian security forces and fighters of the Aidar battalion of the National Guard. The whole area will be examined. The militia say they found other graves that have not been opened up.

The OHCHR monitoring mission in Ukraine, created in March for gathering information about possible human rights violations comprises more than 30 members. The mission is represented the cities of Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, Donetsk and Kharkiv.

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