KIEV, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – The Kiev regime’s special operation against federalists in southeastern Ukraine has claimed a total of 127 lives, a senior United Nations human rights official said Friday.
“During the anti-terrorist operation, 127 people have already been killed,” said Ivan Simonovic, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights.
According to the UN Mission, a total of 250 people have died in clashes in Ukraine since November.
Another 112 people were illegally held in southeastern Ukraine and the fate of 49 people remains unknown, Simonovic said.
Following a regime change in late February, the citizens of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s interim government and called for federalization and referendums on greater autonomy, with rallies sweeping through the region.
Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov launched a special operation in mid-April to crack down on pro-federalization protests.
Russia has called the Western-backed military operation against the protesters a “punitive act,” and accused Ukraine’s authorities of waging a war not against “terrorists” but their own people.