The UN released a report on Ukraine Monday that stated that armed groups in Eastern Ukraine have caused a “total breakdown of law and order and a reign of fear and terror.” The report found that the armed groups “continue to abduct, detain, torture and execute people kept as hostages in order to intimidate and to exercise their power over the population in raw and brutal ways.”
The report listed some of the 812 people reportedly abducted and detained by armed groups in Donetsk and Luhansk, and also listed various crimes allegedly committed by the armed groups, such as torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, enforced disappearances and the planting of landmines and explosive remnants.
“Some of those detained by the armed groups are local politicians, public officials and employees of the local coal mining industry,” the report said, “the majority are ordinary citizens, including teachers, journalists, members of the clergy and students.”
The report also noted documents indicating that the armed groups were conducting “military tribunals” and group leaders were signing “execution orders.” Those executed were reported to be members of armed groups and a common criminal. The Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) is verifying the details of these reports with relatives of the victims and a witness, the UN reported.
Since fighting broke out early this year, over 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in Ukraine, according to UN and WHO estimates. The material cost of the damage done so far is estimated at $750 million USD. Over 100,000 people have been displaced.
By Day Blakely Donaldson