UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović stated at a press conference in Kyiv, March 14, that believes that citizens of another country are taking part in current protests in Ukraine. “Certain protesters were not from this region, and that means they were brought in from another country,” he stated, adding that such cases must be investigated.
Šimonović said he is concerned about those injured and killed as a result of the protests in the regions, especially in Kharkiv and Donetsk, and stressed that those responsible for killing people on Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv, including the snipers, must be found.
Šimonović also stated that he has so information about massive violations of the rights of Russian-speaking populations in the east of Ukraine.
“We were informed about the individual cases of violence against members of the Russian-speaking minority, but it is unclear whether this was based on ethnic or political grounds,” he said. “Such cases are not systematic and not common, but they still need to be made public and discussed without exaggeration and without enhancing grievances for purposes of manipulation.
Šimonović said that he met with human rights organizations in eastern Ukraine and heard different reaction on the part of the local population to the repeal of the law on languages. “We know that this caused some concern among the Russian-speaking minority, and we were glad that the acting president did not sign it,” he said.
As has been reported, on Thursday, March 13, protests by supporters of a united Ukraine and pro-Russian activists escalated into clashes. One person was killed, four were hospitalized, and one is in critical condition. The total number of victims is around 30 people.
In the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, protests of pro-Russian citizens are taking place, which are often accompanied by clashes with their ideological opponents and police as well as the seizure of government buildings. According to several sources, Russians brought in from abroad are playing an active role in these protests.
Translated by Anna Mostovych