UN: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Guilty

UN: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Guilty

Both sides of the conflict in Ukraine are guilty of indiscriminately shelling civilian areas and carrying out summary executions of both combatants and civilians, according to a new report released by the United Nations.
The two-year conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed rebels has killed up to 2,000 civilians, nearly 90% of them in shelling of residential areas, the report released by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Thursday said.
The report also cites executions by both Ukrainian forces and rebel groups of "significant numbers" of people, Al Jazeera reported.
The victims of execution include people allegedly affiliated with or sympathetic to the opposing side, as well as combatants who had surrendered or were out of action.
"There needs to be strong investigation in order to identify perpetrators of crimes committed, to bring justice to the victims and their families to end the continued suffering, and at the end of the day to ensure there is accountability in this country," Fiona Frazer, the head of the UN human rights monitoring mission for Ukraine, told AP.
The report said the majority of the incidents in question happened in late 2014 and early 2015.
A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry statement said the country "highly values" the work of UN human rights monitors in the country, but it focused blame on the rebels.
The ministry claimed that the report found the majority of civilian deaths was due to rebel artillery and said Ukrainian forces are banned from firing on rebel positions near civilian areas.
The report claimed to have documented cases of Ukrainian servicemen intentionally killed for revealing abuses by Ukrainian forces.
The series of alleged crimes committed by Kiev's troops include one in which two suspected rebels were kept in a dry well and then killed by "a drunken soldier" who threw a grenade down the shaft.

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