Sputnik Germany, April 15, 2016
Translated from German by Tom Winter
The humanitarian catastrophe in the Donbass is the work of the US-controlled Ukrainian authorities and radical national groupings, according to a declaration of the human rights division at the Russian Foreign Ministry, in response to the last annual Human Rights report of the US State Department.**
“What most arouses astonishment is the assertion about thousands of civilian casualties in the Donbass being ascribed to the fault of Russia. It is abundantly clear that the humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in Ukraine is the work of the US-controlled Ukrainian authorities and radical national groups in the aftermath of the unconstitutional coup in Kiev.## And all this happened, as a consequence of never actually influencing Ukrainian authorities to deal with the extensive crimes and violations of human rights in Ukraine, and to bring to account the real culprits in such serious crimes, as the torching of the Union Hall in Odessa” it says in the statement.
In the report on the worldwide human rights situation for 2015 published last Wednesday by the US State Department, [see footnote below] it is stated that Russia has been further supporting the Donbass people’s militias, and it is in this context, that reports from international observers and activists “of thousands of deaths and injuries among civilians” are cited.
In April 2014 the authorities of Ukraine started military operations against the self-declared republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, which had proclaimed their independence after the nationalist revolution February 2014 in Ukraine. Several Western and Ukrainian politicians accuse Moscow of interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meanwhile prompted Kiev to listen to the legitimate popular demands of the inhabitants of the east of the country instead of “shoving all the fault on Russia’s shoes.”
Lavrov strongly countered attempts by the US and some European countries to blame Russia for what is happening in eastern Ukraine.
As Moscow stated several times, Russia is not involved in the events in the southeast of Ukraine, it does not provide military equipment or ammunition to the people’s militias; it is not a party to the inner Ukrainian conflict, but has an interest that Ukraine emerge from its political and economic crisis.
**Country reports, human rights practices for 2015: Ukraine.
Here is the relevant portion:
“The most significant human rights developments in the country during the year were: First, separatists, supported by Russian military and civil officials, continued to control parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by force of arms, as self-proclaimed “people’s republics.” The United Nations reported that, as of November 15, more than 9,000 persons had died and approximately 18,000 had been wounded as a result of Russian aggression in these regions, including civilians, members of the Ukrainian armed forces, and Russian-backed separatists, since fighting began in 2014.”
Your translator does not know if the “as a result of Russian aggression” was in the UN report, or if it is a US State Department lagniappe. I suspect the latter.
To read of a French diplomat saying much the same, click.