Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich regarding the Human Rights Watch report on the use of cluster munitions by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in populated areas of the Donetsk Region
We have carefully reviewed the expert findings and evidence of the extensive use of cluster munitions in southeastern Ukraine contained in a report released by the international NGO Human Rights Watch. The report states that there is compelling evidence that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for a series of cluster munition attacks in Donetsk, including in early October and on the day when Laurent DuPasquier, an employee with the International Committee of the Red Cross, was killed.
The evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch is further confirmation of the barbaric nature of the punitive operation undertaken by the Kiev authorities.
The indiscriminate use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes.
We strongly urge the international community, including the United States and EU countries, to compel Kiev to unconditionally renounce further use of cluster munitions against civilians in southeastern Ukraine. It is time for international intergovernmental organisations to finally take a proactive and responsible position on the proliferation of crimes committed by Ukrainian security forces and the radical nationalist armed groups that they control. This also applies to the investigation of the tragedies in Odessa and Mariupol, as well as the mass graves of civilians executed by punitive forces outside Donetsk.
23 October 2014