Statement from Daria Morozova as response to increased attacks by AFU against peaceful population

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

As a result of the escalation of violence by armed formations of Ukraine, which is observed lately, we are compelled to note that the socio-humanitarian situation in the region has deteriorated. In violation of norms and requirements of the international humanitarian law, peaceful citizens, civilian infrastructure objects and housing objects are increasingly targeted by or threatened due to actions of the Ukrainian side.

On 15 August, as a result of shelling against urban-type settlement Zaitsevo by armed formations of Ukraine, a civilian man born in 1963 was injured. The Ukrainian side encroaches on the most important human right – the right to life. Also, these actions constitute a gross violation of Article 13 of Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, regarding the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Under this rule, civilians should not be the target of attack.

I would like to highlight that ammunition used by the Ukrainian side lead to the ignition of residential and farm buildings, as well as of vegetation. Moreover, due to the continuous shelling, fire brigades sometimes cannot carry out the liquidation of the consequences of shelling, which creates additional threats to the local population and farmland. These actions, in addition to the above, are qualified as a violation of Article 14 of Additional Protocol II, which prohibits targeting agricultural areas, crops and other objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population. Last week, such incidents were recorded in the urban-type settlement Zaitsevo and Kominternovo village, Novoazovsk district.

In addition, incidents of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles with the goal of attacking the civilian objects located in the DPR by armed formations of Ukraine are increasingly observed. These actions contradict obligations undertaken by the official Kiev upon signing and ratifying the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects. Such acts of aggression by the Ukrainian side are in direct contravention of initiatives on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass.

We insist that international human rights organizations take all possible measures to document these violations, as well as to ensure effective investigation. In accordance with world practice, the illegal actions of the armed forces of Ukraine are qualified as the use of prohibited methods and means of warfare. The lack of a proper assessment by the world community entails the repetition of such unacceptable incidents, which have the sole purpose of continuously terrorizing the civilian population. Indeed, international human rights institutions are called upon to fight the impunity of authorities in the event of a massive commission of crimes in armed conflict.

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