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U.N. rights agency reports ‘total breakdown’ in eastern Ukraine

U.N. rights agency reports ‘total breakdown’ in eastern Ukraine

More than 4,300 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine’s “total breakdown of law and order,” the United Nations human rights agency reported Thursday.

The Geneva-based U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights lamented what it said was “a large amount of sophisticated weaponry, as well as foreign fighters that include servicemen from the Russian Federation” for worsening an already dire situation for residents of the embattled region.

“Civilians have continued to be killed, unlawfully detained, tortured and disappeared in eastern Ukraine,” High Commissioner Zeid Raad Hussein reported, noting that nearly 1,000 deaths have occurred since a Sept. 5 cease-fire was signed by the warring parties in Minsk, Belarus.

“All parties need to make a far more wholehearted effort to resolve this protracted crisis peacefully,” Hussein said in a statement accompanying the report of 4,317 deaths and 9,921 injuries since mid-April.

“The situation in the conflict-affected area is becoming increasingly entrenched, with the total breakdown of law and order and the emergence of parallel governance systems in the territories under the control” of separatists, Hussein reported.

The grim U.N. agency account coincided with a new appeal by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for Russia to withdraw its forces and press its separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine to respect the cease-fire they signed.
Crisis in Ukraine
Caption Crisis in Ukraine
Alexander Khudoteply / AFP/Getty Images
A lone pedestrian passes through a once-bustling area of Donetsk on Nov. 13. Commercial buildings, government offices and thousands of homes have been destroyed in the city in seven months of fighting between separatists and Ukrainian troops.
Crisis in Ukraine
Caption Crisis in Ukraine
Tatyana Zenkovich / European Pressphoto Agency
Portraits of Ukrainian soldiers who died in the fight against separatists hang in downtown Kiev.
Crisis in Ukraine
Caption Crisis in Ukraine
Alexander Khudoteply / AFP/Getty Images
A pro-Russia militant leaves a polling booth during an election Nov. 2 in the separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine that was widely denounced as illegal.
Crisis in Ukraine
Caption Crisis in Ukraine
Anatolii Stepanov / AFP/Getty Images
An woman uses a magnifying glass to study her ballot while voting at home in the village of Gornostaypol during Ukrainian parliamentary elections on Oct. 26.
Crisis in Ukraine
Caption Crisis in Ukraine
Sergei Gapon / AFP/Getty Images
An activist from the Ukrainian Internet Party, dressed as Darth Vader from the “Star Wars” movies, shows his passport at a polling station in Kiev during parliamentary elections on Oct. 26.

“We call on Russia to stop fueling the conflict,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Estonia, a former Soviet republic that is now independent and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, another of the Baltic republics that broke free of Russia’s grip when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, warned during a visit to Sweden on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to “drastically reorganize international security in the world, and especially in Europe.”

Read More:U.N. rights agency reports ‘total breakdown’ in eastern Ukraine – LA Times.

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