The United Nations is Complicit in the Massacre of Civilians in Ukraine — By Prof Michel Chossudovsky and Julie Lévesque

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky and Julie Lévesque
Global Research, July 09, 2014

Region:

Theme: , ,

In-depth Report:

In what at first appears to be a neutral statement on the violence in Ukraine, urging “all sides to put down their arms” and condemning “strong hate speech from all sides”, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay tacitly placed the blame on the people of Donetsk and Lugansk, who are the unspoken victims of aerial bombings and mortar shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

ukraine-child-400x268

Despite numerous reports, video and photographic evidence which confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces have been targeting civilian areas, High Commissioner Navi Pillay –basing her statements on the report of the UN Monitoring Mission to Ukraine– is emphatic:

“both sides are equally to blame… and people are caught  in the crossfire between armed groups and the Ukrainian Government.”

Navi Pillay’s official statement on behalf of the United Nations is convoluted. It conveys the impression that the self-defense forces in Donesk and Lugansk rather than the Ukrainian Armed Forces including the National Guard are responsible for the abductions and killings not to mention the heavy outflow of people who are fleeing the region:

Pillay also noted that abductions by armed groups continue to be reported daily and that houses, schools and infrastructure, including water and electricity plants, have been damaged – in some cases severely enough to lead to power cuts.

The UN human rights monitoring team in Ukraine has received reports that armed groups are using the roofs of residential buildings to install anti-aircraft systems, and that they are occupying private apartments to organise sniper positions, seriously endangering residents who are not involved in the fighting. Shelling has also been reported in residential areas held by these armed groups.

The term  “armed groups” is used repeatedly by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner without revealing the identity of the “armed groups” and without clarifying who is responsible for the killings of innocent civilians.

These killings were ordered by the government of president Petro Poroshenko. The  evidence amply confirms that these killings are organized by the Armed Forces and National Guard.

Ms. Pillay is fully aware that civilian infrastructure, schools and residential areas were targeted by the Ukrainian Air Force, and that only government forces possess aircraft capable of conducting bombing raids.

According to Ms. Pillay, the Ukraine government confirmed “numerous cases of death of people in Donetsk and Luhansk who are caught in the middle of the ongoing security operations.”

This is not an “ongoing security operation”, it is an outright bombing and shelling operation directed against Ukrainian civilians led by Ukraine government forces. And Western military advisers are collaborating with government forces.

According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner:

“We have received numerous alarming reports of deaths in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including the killing of a five-year-old girl, due to the intensified security operations taking place since the ceasefire ended on Monday,… There have also been reports of the use of landmines, which have allegedly led to three deaths and left several people injured.”

“Such blatant incitement to violence is utterly reprehensible and a clear violation of international human rights law,…. There has been strong hate speech from all sides. I am deeply concerned about the safety of the people who remain trapped in Donetsk and Luhansk areas controlled by the armed groups and are caught in the crossfire between armed groups and the Ukrainian Government. I remind all those involved in the fighting that all measures must be taken to ensure that the fundamental human rights – including the right to life – of residents of these two regions is scrupulously respected.”

slavyanskgirl-300x225

Ms. Pillay is fully aware that civilian infrastructure, schools and residential areas were targeted by the Ukrainian Air Force, and that only government forces possess aircraft capable of conducting bombing raids.

According to Ms. Pillay, the Ukraine government confirmed “numerous cases of death of people in Donetsk and Luhansk who are caught in the middle of the ongoing security operations.”

This is not an “ongoing security operation”, it is an outright bombing and shelling operation directed against Ukrainian civilians led by Ukraine government forces. And Western military advisers are collaborating with government forces.

According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner:

“We have received numerous alarming reports of deaths in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including the killing of a five-year-old girl, due to the intensified security operations taking place since the ceasefire ended on Monday,… There have also been reports of the use of landmines, which have allegedly led to three deaths and left several people injured.”

“Such blatant incitement to violence is utterly reprehensible and a clear violation of international human rights law,…. There has been strong hate speech from all sides. I am deeply concerned about the safety of the people who remain trapped in Donetsk and Luhansk areas controlled by the armed groups and are caught in the crossfire between armed groups and the Ukrainian Government. I remind all those involved in the fighting that all measures must be taken to ensure that the fundamental human rights – including the right to life – of residents of these two regions is scrupulously respected.”

Ms. Pillay said that:

“she was particularly disturbed by a message on the website of one leader of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, which states that underage children and women are legitimate targets and that the goal is to ‘immerse them in horror’.”

Is the above statement an insinuation that the self defense armed groups are killing their own children?

The statement based on the report of the UN observer mission is notoriously ambiguous. There is something missing in Commissioner Pillay’s evaluation. She says she is disturbed that children are “legitimate targets”. Yet she fails to mention that Ukraine government forces and the National Guard  are killing children.

According to UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay:

The Ukrainian Government has a duty to investigate every alleged extrajudicial killing and to bring the perpetrators to justice,”

Again, a contradictory statement.  She should know better than to ask a government to investigate itself.

Pillay also noted that abductions by armed groups continue to be reported daily and that houses, schools and infrastructure, including water and electricity plants, have been damaged – in some cases severely enough to lead to power cuts. The UN human rights monitoring team in Ukraine has received reports that armed groups are using the roofs of residential buildings to install anti-aircraft systems, and that they are occupying private apartments to organise sniper positions, seriously endangering residents who are not involved in the fighting. Shelling has also been reported in residential areas held by these armed groups.

“More and more residents of Luhansk and Donetsk regions are being forced to flee their homes, while others are trapped in zones of heavy fighting, as their fundamental human rights are trampled upon and a climate of insecurity and fear becomes increasingly pervasive,” Pillay said. “I urge all sides to put down their arms, to engage in dialogue and to turn away from the destructive path towards which they are leading the east of Ukraine.”

Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’s statements are in blatant violation of the mandate of the United Nations:

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has lead responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights, … It has been given a unique mandate by the international community, through the General Assembly, to do so.

We [the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR] … receive and consider direct complaints from victims of human rights violations, and appeal to governments on behalf of victims

We work to ensure the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground ... [We] are reaching out to the people who need it the most. (OHCHR website)

The OHCHR under the helm of High Commissioner Navi Pillay is involved in the coverup of crimes against humanity.

1-4620-f627c-bf8c9“Appealing to governments on behalf of the victims” when the government is the perpetrator of these atrocities and the OHCHR has been instructed not to identify in its reports the perpetrator of war crimes.

That government to which the OHCHR is “appealing” considers the Russian speaking Ukrainians as “subhumans”.

Image Source : Embassy of Ukraine in the United States, 15 June 2014.

We encourage Ms. Pillay to examine the evidence which clearly confirms the responsibility of the US-EU supported Ukrainian Government in the massacres and destruction perpetrated in Donesk and Lugansk.

What we are dealing with are extensive crimes against humanity. And the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner describes these civilian deaths as “Collateral Damage”.

Here are pictures of the “collateral damage” caused by the Ukraine’s Air Force’s aerial bombings:

Click to access the complete photo album:

https://vk.com/album-69838054_198072706

In the videos below, the war crimes committed by both the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the National Guard are carefully documented.

The National Guard –which is supported and financed by the West– is controlled by Neo-Nazis with Nazi emblems. The United Nations is silent on the matter.

According to the OHCHR, there are no Neo-Nazi in the government and the Armed Forces.  According to Navi Pillay, “both sides are equally to blame”. “Those who are Neo-Nazis” are on one side, and “those who are defending themselves against the Neo-Nazis are on the other side”.  The Self Defense units in Eastern Ukraine are rebelling against a government in which the two Neo-Nazi parties (Right Sector and Svoboda) control the Armed Forces and the National Guard.

Below is the Nazi emblem of the National Guard  [Національна гвардія України] which is defined as Reserves of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

They operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  The National Guard is part of the so-called “Internal Troops of Ukraine.” The official emblem of the National Guard is a stylized swastika (see below).

In the videos below, the war crimes committed by both the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the National Guard are carefully documented.

The National Guard –which is supported and financed by the West– is controlled by Neo-Nazis with Nazi emblems.  The United Nations is silent on the matter.

According to the OHCHR, there are no Neo-Nazi in the government and the Armed Forces.  According to Navi Pillay, “both sides are equally to blame”. “Those who are Neo-Nazis” are on one side, and “those who are defending themselves against the Neo-Nazis are on the other side”.  The Self Defense units in Eastern Ukraine are rebelling against a government in which the two Neo-Nazi parties (Right Sector and Svoboda) control the Armed Forces and the National Guard.

Below is the Nazi emblem of the National Guard  [Національна гвардія України] which is defined as Reserves of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

They operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  The National Guard is part of the so-called “Internal Troops of Ukraine.” The official emblem of the National Guard is a stylized swastika (see below).

 BjVYzUsIYAMgpLK.jpg large

ukraine-nazi-emblems

Imagine what would happen if the US National Guard were to display swastika-like symbols.

Below are the Nazi symbols of the National Guard’s Azov Battalion, which is actively involved in the “security operation” in Eastern Ukraine. And UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay says that “Both Sides are to Blame”.  Ms. Navi Pillay  “has Blood on Her Hands”.

We bring to the attention of GR readers the full text of the UN Mission to Ukraine (pdf)as well transcripts of official OHCHR press releases.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Geneva 15 June 2014

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/HRMMUReport15June2014.pdf

Navi Pillay’s Statement

Intensified fighting putting at risk lives of people in Donetsk and Luhansk – Pillay

Pillay welcomed indications of the possible imminent resumption of a ceasefire, which she called upon all sides to respect.

*     *     *

Press statement by the ASG Ivan Simonovic, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, launch of the second report on the human rights situation in Ukraine

Kyiv, 16 May 2014

We bring to the attention of GR readers the full text of the UN Mission to Ukraine (pdf)as well transcripts of official OHCHR press releases.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Geneva 15 June 2014

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/HRMMUReport15June2014.pdf

Navi Pillay’s Statement

Intensified fighting putting at risk lives of people in Donetsk and Luhansk – Pillay

GENEVA (4 July 2014) – Following the end of the ceasefire on 30 June in Ukraine, the UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine has reported numerous cases of death of people in Donetsk and Luhansk who are caught in the middle of the ongoing security operations, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Friday.

“We have received numerous alarming reports of deaths in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including the killing of a five-year-old girl, due to the intensified security operations taking place since the ceasefire ended on Monday,” Pillay said. “There have also been reports of the use of landmines, which have allegedly led to three deaths and left several people injured.”

Pillay said she was particularly disturbed by a message on the website of one leader of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, which states that underage children and women are legitimate targets and that the goal is to ‘immerse them in horror’.

“Such blatant incitement to violence is utterly reprehensible and a clear violation of international human rights law,” she said. “There has been strong hate speech from all sides. I am deeply concerned about the safety of the people who remain trapped in Donetsk and Luhansk areas controlled by the armed groups and are caught in the crossfire between armed groups and the Ukrainian Government. I remind all those involved in the fighting that all measures must be taken to ensure that the fundamental human rights – including the right to life – of residents of these two regions is scrupulously respected.”

In the month of June, the human rights monitoring team has documented the killing of five children in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Orphaned children, many very young or with disabilities, in the two regions have faced particular difficulties and have in some cases been evacuated.

“The Ukrainian Government has a duty to investigate every alleged extrajudicial killing and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Pillay stressed.

Pillay also noted that abductions by armed groups continue to be reported daily and that houses, schools and infrastructure, including water and electricity plants, have been damaged – in some cases severely enough to lead to power cuts. The UN human rights monitoring team in Ukraine has received reports that armed groups are using the roofs of residential buildings to install anti-aircraft systems, and that they are occupying private apartments to organise sniper positions, seriously endangering residents who are not involved in the fighting. Shelling has also been reported in residential areas held by these armed groups.

“More and more residents of Luhansk and Donetsk regions are being forced to flee their homes, while others are trapped in zones of heavy fighting, as their fundamental human rights are trampled upon and a climate of insecurity and fear becomes increasingly pervasive,” Pillay said. “I urge all sides to put down their arms, to engage in dialogue and to turn away from the destructive path towards which they are leading the east of Ukraine.”

Pillay welcomed indications of the possible imminent resumption of a ceasefire, which she called upon all sides to respect.

*     *     *

Press statement by the ASG Ivan Simonovic, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, launch of the second report on the human rights situation in Ukraine

Kyiv, 16 May 2014

We bring to the attention of GR readers the full text of the UN Mission to Ukraine (pdf)as well transcripts of official OHCHR press releases.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Geneva 15 June 2014

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/HRMMUReport15June2014.pdf

Kyiv, 16 May 2014

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is my third visit to Ukraine since the start of the crisis. It coincides with the launch by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of the second report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, which is based on the findings of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. The reports lays out the progress made, but also the current human rights challenges in Ukraine, particularly in the East and the South of the country.

Yesterday,I had the opportunity to discuss the report and its recommendations with Government officials, the Ombudsperson, and representatives of civil society.

My discussions have been constructive and we have been able to exchange views on a number of concrete ways in which the Government can take immediate steps to implement these important recommendations. I have stressed that it is critical for the Government to react immediately to the recommendations in order to contribute to the de-escalation of tensions ahead of the presidential elections.

The first report issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 15 April, was based on my two previous missions and the first weeks of monitoring by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. We tried to reflect the larger picture, focusing on root causes of human rights violations, including the long-term failure to respect the rule of law, lack of accountability of the security forces, corruption, mismanagement and its impact on economic and social and rights. We also raised the importance of accountability for Maidan protest-related violations and other human rights violations at the time, especially in Crimea and in the East. The previous report also contained quite broad, short and, long term recommendations.

In this second report, being released today, we first and foremost focus on current human rights challenges in the East and the South of Ukraine, and developments with regard to recommendations made in the first report. It also contains its own concrete recommendations, which are especially important ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections.

The report describes the deeply disturbing deterioration of the human rights situation in the East and South of the country: the increase in the number of armed groups undertaking illegal acts – the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has been informed of 112 cases of unlawful detention, of which we are still concerned for the whereabouts and condition of 49 people. Such abuses clearly indicate the breakdown in law and order in this part of the country. In addition, according to our information obtained through Government and civil society sources, during violent clashes and the security and law enforcement operations in the East and South, 127 people have been killed. This is deeply disturbing.

Why is this happening? Although the number of protesters has not sharply increased – we are still speaking of only a couple of thousands in a few cities – there are more and more armed people around such protests, and more weapons available.

All too often, the police is either inefficient or takes no steps to prevent the clashes. In Odesa, it seems to have contributed to the tragic events of 2 May. The death of 48 people should, and could, have been prevented. I am calling on the authorities to investigate who are the direct perpetrators of the killings, and why security forces did not act in a more timely and decisive manner: this tragedy requires full clarity and broad accountability. In a number of other, fortunately less dramatic cases, the lack of a specific law regulating the exercise of the freedom of assembly exacerbates the situation, as any limitations placed on the freedom of assembly become at times arbitrary, and thus more controversial. However, there is a clear difference between peaceful assembly and what can only be characterised as violence, constituting a clear threat to security and public order. Peaceful demonstrations must be permitted, as a matter of international law, and law enforcement officers must receive adequate training for handling rallies and protests in line with international human rights standards. On the other hand, the use of force by the Government, when absolutely needed, is strictly regulated by international laws and standards.

In the East, there seems to be a mutual reinforcing effect between hate speech inciting violence, and the ensuing violence, which then serves as a justification for further hate speech. This is a vicious cycle that must be broken. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, going back to the Maidan protests (from November 2013 to February 2014), and including the situation in Crimea, the current illegal acts of the armed groups and the response of the security and law enforcement operation in the eastern regions, as well as the 2 May violence in Odesa – the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission has received information that about 250 people have been killed, including local residents, national security forces and armed groups.

Any further arming of protesters and their transformation into paramilitary groups must immediately stop. Armed groups should be urgently disarmed. All who have influence on these armed groups should use their influence constructively in order to prevent further violence. Whoever incites violence and arms protesters, transforming them into paramilitary troops, can be held accountable for the tragic consequences.

From the beginning, I have continuously raised the need to urgently curb the use of hate speech. This becomes doubly important ahead of the forthcoming Presidential elections on 25 May. I am calling on all Presidential candidates to use the days remaining until the Presidential elections to send the message of peace and reconciliation to the people of Ukraine.

Constitutional amendments that were announced and the intention to discuss them through national consultations is the right approach to de-escalate tensions and create an atmosphere conducive to the implementation of the Geneva agreement. However, as civil society representatives whom I met yesterday conveyed to me, these national consultations should be inclusive and open to civil society, including peaceful representatives from the East of the country, critical of the Government.

The Government, as well as the international community, should send a clear message that there will be accountability for crimes committed, regardless of the ethnicity or political affiliation of the perpetrators. In this current situation everyone is losing: be they ethnic Ukrainians or Russians, Russian or Ukrainian speaking, with wider negative regional consequences. However, I firmly believe that the point of no return has not been reached, and we cannot allow it to be reached. The UN stands with all Ukrainians, regardless of their ethnicity and political affiliation – to help to prevent such an outcome.

The report also contains a chapter on the situation in Crimea, in light of the UN GA resolution 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. From a human rights perspective, it is essential that resident of Crimea are not negatively affected by the implications of the changing effective legal framework on their human rights. No matter their citizenship, people who live in Crimea should have equal access to employment, education, health and other social services.

Special attention should be paid to the situation of the Crimean Tatar people and their rights as an indigenous people. Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Jemiliev, the historical Tatar leader. It is highly important that their 70th anniversary commemoration of their forceful deportation from Crimea, scheduled for 18 May, remains calm and that their right to freedom of assembly is fully respected. All those involved should use restraint: the situation is already difficult enough.

Over the next few days, I plan to travel to Donetsk and to Odesa, before returning to Kyiv on 19 May. This will enable me to follow-up on some of the serious human rights violations that have been highlighted in this report, as well as some human rights concerns that have arisen since the 6 May – the cut-off date for the report of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission.

It is highly important to diffuse tensions after the unlawful referenda in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and ahead of the presidential elections.

The next public report on human rights in Ukraine is due in June. It will, inter alia, highlight any progress made in the human rights situation, as well as any negative consequences of the political and security tensions on social and economic rights for those who live in Ukraine, especially in the East of the country.

Thank you, and I stand ready for your questions.

About the author:
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. He can be reached at crgeditor@yahoo.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s