MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The statements made by the Human Rights Watch that the Ukrainian government used cluster munitions in Donetsk populated areas highlight the punitive nature of the military operation in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said Wednesday.
"This is another proof of a punitive nature of the military operation carried out by the Kiev authorities that led to numerous civilian casualties, with the civilian population being deliberately killed," Dolgov told journalists.
"Conclusions made by Human Rights Watch deserve serious consideration," he added.
He added that it was a good sign that international human rights organizations have begun to pay attention to the human rights violations in Ukraine, something Russia has been talking about for a while.
"We assume that our position on the issue will be supported not only by interstate organizations, UN, OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], the Council of Europe, but also by human rights activists demanding a thorough investigation into the crimes against the civilian population and the rule of law, and the punishment of those responsible," Dolgov added.
Dolgov noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry was currently studying the HRW report and intended to comment on it later.
On October 20, HRW published a report on the widespread use of cluster munitions in Donetsk by the Ukrainian government forces in early October. The organization noted that the use of cluster munitions in populated areas violated the laws of war and might amount to war crimes due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon.