Updated 2:40 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia wants international organizations to join an investigation into the deaths of civilians buried in a mass grave near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said Wednesday.
"We have been trying to attract attention of inter-governmental and [non-governmental] human rights organizations to the reports about mass graves near Donetsk. We believe that they should make a practical contribution and ensure that this investigation is unbiased and effective," Dolgov said.
"The international community should insist on the inevitable punishment of those guilty of these crimes," he said on his Twitter account.
Earlier on Wednesday, the diplomat said there were grounds to believe that the pro-government National Guard had previously controlled the area near Donetsk where a mass grave was recently discovered.
According to the information from the United Nations, the military conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people. The director of the Donetsk Region's health department, Elena Petryaeva, said about 1,300 residents of the region had been killed in the confrontation, with about 3,500 injured. The deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Andrei Purgin, said Monday that some 4,000 people had lost their lives in the region.
A ceasefire agreement between the Kiev-backed forces and independence supporters of the eastern Ukrainian regions was established on September 5 at a Contact Group meeting in Minsk. Despite the agreement, the opposing sides have accused each other of violating the ceasefire regime. A memorandum of nine provisions that regulate the implementation of the ceasefire was prepared on September 19.