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Moscow says UN registers systemic human rights violations in Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern over the conclusions about Kiev’s discriminatory policy against Ukrainian citizens residing in Donbass

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Moscow shares UN assessments regarding the systemic nature of blatant human rights violations in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, commenting on a report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

"The level of flagrant human rights violations by the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and Ukraine’s National Security Service, which, according to the latest UN reports, are systemic, gives rise to profound concern," the ministry said in a statement.

"The issue at hand is illegal custodial restraint, forced disappearance, incommunicado detention, the use of torture, sexual violence, the use of counterterrorism legislation to crack down on the political opposition and dissent in society."

The ministry noted that the UN mission again noted the lack of political will and interest on the part of the Ukrainian authorities in conducting a full-fledged investigation into all human rights violations by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian Security Service. "That contributes to further spreading permissiveness and impunity in the country," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

Discrimination of Donbass

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern over the conclusions about Kiev’s discriminatory policy against Ukrainian citizens residing in the Donbass region. "The government’s refusal to pay pensions and social security benefits to residents in the southeast of the country, the lack of procedures to repair damages to its own citizens for the loss of housing and property because of the Ukrainian military’s actions, the existence of artificial restrictions on crossing the line of contact by residents lead to further impoverishment of the poorest strata of the population and contribute to further rift in the Ukrainian society and thus reduce the chances for national reconciliation in the future," the ministry stressed.

Moscow also shares the mission’s concern over the Ukrainian authorities’ crackdown on civil and political freedoms in the country, including an increase in the number of attacks on the freedom of expression, freedom of the media and physical attacks against reporters.

In addition, the UN mission has established multiple instances of discrimination and violence against members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its buildings. "According to the mission’s estimates, the issue at hand is a well-planned campaign carried out with the obvious connivance of government officials and law enforcement agencies rather than isolated cases of intolerance against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," the ministry said.

Time to heed mission’s advice

Russia also urges Kiev "to listen carefully to the assessments and recommendations by the Monitoring commission and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission regarding the Law on Education, which grossly violates the rights of ethnic minorities living in the country, especially the Russian-speaking population."

"We expect the necessary amendments to be introduced to the law’s Article 7, which would make private school immune to it, and ensure the sufficient volume of public education in the languages of ethnic minorities," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.