Comment by the Press and Information Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the discovery of a mass grave near Donetsk
On 23 September, a mass grave of presumably peaceful civilians was found at the Kommunar coal mine near the township of Nizhnyaya Krynka, 60 km from Donetsk. Several partially decomposed bodies in civilian clothes have been found in the mass grave. It is clear that these people were executed, as evidenced by the victims’ hands, tied behind their backs, marks of the final head shots, and the 9 mm cartridge cases, which were found near the bodies.
The currently available evidence suggests that these civilians were killed in a cold-blooded manner by the Ukrainian armed forces. In particular, there are reports that this area had been controlled by members of the 25th paratrooper brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and of the Aidar battalion, who left it several days before the discovery of the mass grave.
Most likely we are dealing with a war crime for which there can be no justification. We insist on conducting an urgent, impartial and thorough investigation and on bringing the perpetrators to justice.
We expect that the leadership of the UN, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe, the relevant bodies and agencies of these international organisations, as well as human rights advocacy groups will give their objective assessment of this crime.
We believe that the involvement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the Council of Europe’s International Advisory Panel on Ukraine could actively contribute to the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine.
24 September 2014