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Ukraine: Millions condemned to fear and risk of violence in Donbass

Amnesty International experts available for comment on the situation in eastern Ukraine, on first anniversary of start of conflict

Despite the fragile ceasefire, millions in eastern Ukraine continue to live in constant fear. The systematic lack of investigations of war crimes committed by all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine risks fuelling impunity and continued violence, said Amnesty International a year on from the start of hostilities in Donbass.

“The conflict in Ukraine has brought back the horrors of war to Europe. Despite a cease-fire agreed earlier this year, people across Donbass remain at the mercy of the warring parties. The pace of the conflict might have slowed down but the violations haven’t stopped,” said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

“The past twelve months have brought horror to the previously peaceful Ukraine. Indiscriminate attacks, abduction, torture and summary killings feature prominently in the catalogue of abuses. ”

“Ukraine should accept the International Criminal Court’s retrospective jurisdiction to cover crimes under international law committed during the conflict and ratify the Rome Statute. All war crimes committed in Donbass must be urgently and impartially investigated and those responsible brought to justice. The international community should step up pressure to ensure that this happens and that all parties to the conflict cooperate fully with prompt, effective and independent investigations and prosecutions.”

Talking points:
-Human rights violations and abuses in Ukraine.
-Indiscriminate attacks against civilians, abductions, torture and summary killings.
-Impact of the ongoing lack of investigations into abuses.

Read more:
New evidence of summary killings of Ukrainian soldiers must spark urgent investigations (News, 9 April 2015)

Summary killings during the conflict in eastern Ukraine (Report, 20 October 2014) 

Abductions and Torture in Eastern Ukraine (Report, July 2014)