War crimes in Ukraine?
A new UN report accuses pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine of possible war crimes. The authors also accuse the Ukrainian army of having done wrong there.
The war enters the cities
Fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army has intensified around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. The situation for the local population keeps getting worse, the UN Human Rights Commission finds. It especially accuses the pro-Russian separatists of severe crimes.
In mourning for father and son
More than 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting since mid-April, according to the UN. Not just armed fighters, but also countless civilians, among them many children, have lost their lives. These people grieve for a father and his little son who died in artillery fire near Luhansk.
Heavy weaponry in residential areas
Civilians often get caught in the crossfire, according to the UN. Heavy weaponry is being employed in densely populated areas not just by the separatists, like here in Donetsk, but also by the Ukrainian army. The United Nations urge all sides to exercise better measures of precaution to protect civilians’ lives.
Reign of terror by separatists
The report accuses the pro-Russian separatists of abducting, torturing and executing people. The separatists are "rough and brutal" as well as "well-equipped and organized" and often under the command of Russian nationals, according to the UN Human Rights Commission. The UN body has 39 observers on the ground and has documented more than 800 cases of abductions by separatists since mid-April.
Fleeing the East
More than 100,000 people have had to leave their homes. Many live in emergency shelters, like here in Kharkiv, to escape the terror of the separatists and the fighting. There are also reports about Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine who have fled to neighboring Russia.
Shooting down MH17: a war crime
On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board were killed. The passenger jet was most probably shot down by pro-Russian separatists. That could be interpreted as a war crime, said UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.
Justice in The Hague?
Those responsible could face charges before the International Criminal Court. The UN Human Rights Commissioner warns: anybody violating international law will be brought to justice. That also applies to foreign fighters involved in the conflict.