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OPINION: Kiev’s Use of UN Symbol Violates Humanitarian Law

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The Ukrainian authorities have violated international humanitarian law by using helicopters with the symbol of the United Nations in southeastern Ukraine, law professor Yuri Maleev told RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian authorities have violated international humanitarian law by using helicopters with the symbol of the United Nations in southeastern Ukraine, law professor Yuri Maleev told RIA Novosti.

"This is an obvious violation of international humanitarian law, because it requires that unique identifiers be placed on the military equipment and soldiers who are fighting. Therefore, they have clearly violated this requirement," said Maleev, a professor of law at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

For this violation, the Kiev authorities "may, of course, be brought to court, to a military tribunal, but only after the end of the proceedings,” the professor said.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for an explanation as to why the Ukrainian authorities used a helicopter with UN signage during special operations in southeastern Ukraine.

“We certainly want to understand how it happened how the UN logo painted helicopters were used against the protesters in the East and the South. The United Nations already expressed its very deep concern,” Lavrov said in English during an interview with Bloomberg.

Earlier it was revealed that the Ukrainian military used helicopters with UN signage during operations to quash protests in Kramatorsk in the Donetsk Republic. The helicopters were apparently earlier used in peacekeeping operations in Congo.

The United Nations is currently discussing the matter with Ukrainian authorities.

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