KIEV, May 12 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Party of Regions has been studying the possibility of appealing to international courts in order to seek prosecution of the perpetrators of crimes committed during the country’s ongoing special operation in eastern Ukraine, faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov said Monday.
"Military operations that are conducted in Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, which got worse in Krasnoarmeysk, resulting in deaths of civilians, can only be qualified as a war crime. Therefore, our faction is now exploring the possibility ... and reserves the right to apply to international courts to bring perpetrators to justice for crimes against civilians in Ukraine," Yefremov said at a meeting of parliamentary parties.
On Sunday, the government in Kiev announced the final phase of its “anti-terrorist” operation against the restive territories, denying the eastern regions of Ukraine the right to hold their legal referendums.
The referendums in the southeastern regions were nonetheless held Sunday in difficult conditions as the Kiev regime launched a campaign of intimidation, including repression against protest leaders and deploying troops and irregular Right Sector gunmen against peaceful citizens.
Yefremov added that it is necessary to take into account the high turnout of the population during the referendums on the status of the regions in the east of the country, as well as to negotiate with the representatives of these areas.
The Kremlin said in a statement Monday it respected the will of the people in Ukraine’s southeast and urged the regime in Kiev to do the same. Moscow said it condemned "the use of force including military hardware against peaceful citizens which led to deaths" during the referendums.
In the Luhansk region, voter turnout was over 79 percent, with the turnout in the regional capital exceeding 76 percent. According to preliminary data about 90 per cent of people in both regions voted for independence.