from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Another country, ‘about which we know nothing’ is to bite the dust. History repeats itself, this time on internet:
The 34-strong UN monitoring mission’s report, which covered the period from April 2 to May 6 and which Russia criticised as politically motivated, said police and local authorities in eastern Ukraine connived in illegal acts and the takeover of towns by armed groups, undermining the rule of law.
The UN findings echoed a statement published on Monday by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose experts had identified “a significant number of serious human rights violations” during a visit to Ukraine in March.
Ukraine is preparing to hold presidential elections on May 25 and the UN monitors said a fair and democratic ballot would be an important factor in helping to calm the situation. But several candidates had reported intimidation and attacks and the monitoring mission said it had concerns about their security. – -
The UN report also cited a “wave of abductions and unlawful detentions” of journalists, activists, politicians, representatives of international bodies and members of the military.
- – – Russia’s foreign ministry said the report lacked any semblance of objectivity, and accused its authors of following “political orders” to whitewash the pro-Western leadership, while ignoring “the crudest violations of human rights by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities”. – –
In Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the OSCE report did not support Russia’s contention that the rights of Ukraine’s Russian minority were being violated.
“There is an atmosphere of intimidation and discrimination. Many people in Ukraine are suffering potentially life-threatening legal problems if they don’t take up Russian citizenship,” Mr Seibert told a news conference.
Gianni Magazzeni, head of the UN human rights office’s Americas, Europe and Central Asia branch, said there was no evidence to justify concern for Russian-speaking people in Ukraine and the UN report aimed to show where the major human rights concerns were, which was mainly in areas under the power of armed groups in the east of the country.