Support The Moscow Times!

Amnesty Says War Crimes Committed by Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict

Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Sept. 10, 2014.

Amnesty International said Wednesday it had documented evidence of war crimes by both sides in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The human rights group's secretary general, Salil Shetty, told a news conference in Moscow that some separatists, backed by Russian troops, and Ukraine's Aidar battalion had committed human rights abuses in the five-month-old conflict.

Citing satellite imagery as well as witnesses' accounts, Shetty said Russia's involvement in the violence in eastern Ukraine made it a side in the conflict which could make it liable if war crimes are established.

"We have repeatedly raised the issue of war crimes and in our most recent reports we have documented evidence of war crimes from both sides," said Shetty, repeating the allegations in the Russian capital, where authorities have denied their involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Shetty said the organization had requested meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov but neither had agreed to meet him or answered the allegations.

Russia has denied it is a party to the conflict and has dismissed accusations that it has sent soldiers and weapons to support the separatists.

Shetty said human rights abuses, including beatings and abductions, had been carried out by separatists "who we now know have been backed by Russian forces" and by Ukraine's Aidar Battalion, a volunteer territorial defense group.

He also called for an investigation into allegations from both sides of indiscriminate mortar fire, which he said had led to more than 1,000 civilian deaths.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more