MOSCOW, June 18 (RIA Novosti) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has called on Ukraine’s authorities to ensure security of the civilian population in the zone of the ongoing special operation in the country’s southeast, the organization said in a statement Wednesday.
High Commissioner Pillay has urged the Ukrainian government to “exercise restraint, ensure that security operations are in line with international standards at all times, and take great care to protect civilians when engaging with armed groups.”
“Local residents of areas affected by the fighting are increasingly being caught in the cross-fire between the Ukrainian military and armed groups, with a growing number of residents killed and wounded,” the report says.
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission is also “concerned at the increasing number of reports of enforced disappearances as a result of the security operations.”
Violence in southeastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by Kiev authorities in mid-April that has claimed dozens of civilian lives. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kiev must stop its military operation and start a direct dialogue with independence supporters.
Ukraine’s Health Ministry last week reported more than 200 civilians, including women and children, had been killed since the beginning of the operations.