The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine carefully examined the report of the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, based on the results of his working visit to Ukraine on 21-25 March 2016, including the some parts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions which temporarily uncontrolled by the Government of Ukraine.
We share the Commissioner’s concerns about the fate of millions of Ukrainians, who remain on the Donbass territory invaded by Russian-terrorist forces and with the tendency of the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in this region.
In this regard, it should be emphasized that only the full restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty over these territories, reached as a result of the comprehensive and unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements, can lead to the change of the situation. We have to admit that the Russian Federation as a state-aggressor, has a full responsibility for all the roistering and the chaos that happens in the Donbass region now, and Russia has not demonstrated yet any readiness to peaceful de-occupation.
We have to pay special attention to the information about torture, ill-treatment and other forms of violence against detained people «on both sides of the contact line». Ukraine as a responsible member of the Council of Europe and state, for which the protection of human rights is one of the prerogatives of its own existence and development, will do a verification of all reports about possible abuse and violation by security forces of Ukraine and will take into account the relevant recommendations of the Commissioner.
In this context, we have a particular concern about the Russia’s absolute disregard of recommendations and appeals of the international community to humanitarian treatment to people who were illegally detained and cease a criminal terror against local population. In particular, they refuse to give an access to places where detained are located and continue to kill civilians, kidnap people, put them to torture, sexual violence, forced labor, extortion and other human rights violations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts made by Council of Europe’s Commissioner for the highlighting the humanitarian situation on the east of Ukraine and the preparation of the next review about the situation on human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of external military aggression and expresses his readiness to continue effective cooperation with the Office of the Commissioner in the fight against the impunity, the rehabilitation of victims violations of human rights and the search of missing people. We believe that the exceptional experience and the expertise of the Commissioner will increase the level of the protection of human rights in Ukraine and will make an important contribution to the peaceful settlement of international armed conflict in the Donbass region.