MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – The global rights organization Amnesty International on Saturday accused both sides in conflict in eastern Ukraine of committing war crimes.
“All sides in this conflict have shown disregard for civilian lives and are blatantly violating their international obligations,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, according to the official statement.
Amnesty International researchers on the ground in southeastern Ukraine interviewed eyewitnesses fleeing from fighting. Civilians told the researchers that the Ukrainian government forces subjected their neighborhoods to heavy shelling.
“Their testimonies suggest that the attacks were indiscriminate and may amount to war crimes,” Amnesty International said.
The organization also received reports of abductions, torture and killings carried out by self-defense forces as well as volunteer battalions operating alongside regular Ukrainian armed forces.
The Amnesty International chief called on the Ukrainian authorities to conduct an effective investigation into allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law.
“Without a thorough and independent investigation, there’s a real risk Ukrainians will harbour the scars of this war for generations,” Salil Shetty said.
Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since mid-April, when Kiev began its military operation against independence supporters in the southeastern regions of the country. According to United Nations’ estimates, over 2,500 people have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded since the start of the offensive.