MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – The latest UN report on the situation in Ukraine, which says that Kiev-controlled forces continue to violate the principles of international humanitarian law, is a positive development, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Committee for CIS Affairs of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament), said Wednesday.
“It’s not a breakthrough, but it is a shift toward common sense; let’s hope that the tendency continues,” Slutsky said.
The report, released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, covers the period from August 18 to September 16 and contains testimonial evidence of cases of violation on behalf of Ukrainian military units.
According to the report, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine is in particular concerned by "the enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment allegedly perpetrated by members of the volunteer battalions, in particular by 'Aydar', 'Dnipro-1', 'Kyiv-1' and 'Kyiv-2'."
Ukrainian volunteer battalions were formed in April, when Kiev launched a military operation in southeastern Ukraine, where independence supporters refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of the February coup.
The battalions have been integrated into Ukraine's National Guard and continue their operations in the southeast of the country, despite the ceasefire agreed by the Contact Group on September 5 in Minsk.
Amnesty International has said that the Ukrainian government is responsible for the war crimes and human rights violations committed by Ukrainian volunteer battalions.