MOSCOW, November 17 (Sputnik) – The Kiev authorities are committing a war crime by withholding payments to eastern Ukraine pensioners, the chairman of Donetsk People's Republic's (DPR) Supreme Council Denis Pushilin said Sunday.
“By stopping paying pensions to the old people and thus pushing them to hunger, the Ukrainian authorities are committing a war crime. More, Ukraine neither provides pensions, nor let us do it. We are only beginning to form a pension fund, so we are starting not only from scratch, but worse, because there are no lists of people and we are disconnected from servers. However,… we are doing everything possible,” his press service said.
On Saturday, two Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decrees were published on his website. Poroshenko ordered a freeze on public services in Ukraine’s eastern regions and banned banks from operating there. He also asked the government to keep the Council of Europe informed on the violations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights that Kiev "is forced" to commit in the region.
The conflict in Ukraine escalated in mid-April when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, who refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of the February coup.
In September the two sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk, attended by Russian representatives, but have since been accusing each other of violating the truce.