The UN has documented the deaths of 2,593 people since the conflict began in eastern Ukraine last April until the middle of this week, according to a report on human rights violations made public today.
The paper argues that increased hostilities in the past six weeks, with the confirmed use of heavy artillery by both rebel groups and government forces in densely populated areas, has led to the violent deaths of 36 people each day.
This number represents between a 300% increase in the number of casualties that were recorded daily during the previous months, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Gianni Magazzeni.
In addition, the number of dead does not include the 298 victims of the Malaysian Airlines plane shot down on 17 July. The death of these people has not been yet attributed as the shooting down is still under investigation.
In its report, the UN has evidence of numerous “violations of human rights perpetrated primarily” by the Kiev regime against a large part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Outside of fighting, the rebels Kiev’s military has committed murder and has psychologically tortured residents of the Southern and Eastern regions. It is estimated that some 468 people are in captivity. Similarly, the UN blames Ukrainian government forces for the indiscriminate bombing of populated areas.
The report states that the armed forces of Ukraine perpetrated abuses in their effort to regain control of areas that had fallen into rebel hands. The latter, meanwhile, had no qualms about endangering the lives of civilians in performing their military operations and placing military targets within residential areas.
Also, it is reported that the rebels prevented civilians from leaving Lugansk and Donetsk, while the government strengthened its blockade around these two cities. However, half of the population of each region has fled, with 200,000 to 500,000 people leaving Donestsk and about 250,000 who abandoned Lugansk.
The UN also claims that the civil militia received a steady supply of sophisticated arms and ammunition. Those weapons supposedly enabled them to down Ukrainian military helicopters and planes, says the document.
The UN report stopped short of blaming one party for the destruction of the Eastern regions and for the murder of almost 2,600 people, even though most of the killings have occurred after the legally elected government of Ukraine was removed via a US sponsored military coup which obligated President Yanukovych to leave government and that allowed Ukrainian extremists to take power.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.