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31st of May, 2014

Official Statement
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Donetsk People's Republic
Regarding War Crimes Committed by the Kiev Authorities
in Violation of the Norms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions
and the Norms of the Rome Statute
of the International Criminal Court


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports a new series of war crimes committed by the illegitimate "Ukrainian Authorities".

E.g., on the 27th of May, 2014 the personnel of the security agencies acting by orders from Kiev fired at a truck bearing the sanitary transport identification markings that transported wounded persons from the Donetsk airport. This resulted in the death of the wounded. On the same day, a few hours later the same armed units fired at an ambulance that carried a wounded person from the Donetsk airport building.

Those acts are gross violations of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention (1) of the 12th of August, 1949 under which persons that ceased to take part in hostilities because of wounds must in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any discrimination, and prohibiting violence to their life and person. Article 12, Chapter II: "Wounded and Sick" of this Convention reads as follows: "Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances… Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited."

In this case, murders of wounded persons are also war crimes under Article 8(2)(а)(i) (in respect of an international military conflict) and 8(2)(c)(i) (in respect of an armed conflict not of an international character) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Besides, in the course of the 27th of May military aircraft bearing Ukrainian air force identification markings made massive airstrikes at a densely populated residential place (the city of Donetsk). Snipers fired at residential buildings in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport as well. Those acts resulted in the death of more than 20 civilians in the city of Donetsk and its suburbs.

More than twenty civilians, including children, were killed and badly wounded in the town of Slavyansk as a result of mortar and heavy artillery fire on part of the armed units acting by orders from Kiev. A four year old boy was killed, and a young girl lost her hand. Shells hit a secondary school building during class time, a day care center was damaged, a shell hit destroyed the city hospital buildings.

Intentional delivery of blows at buildings, medical institutions and vehicles is also a war crime under Article 8(2)(b)(xxiv) (for the context of an international conflict) and 8(2)(е)(ii) (for the context of an armed conflict not of an international character) of the Roman Statute.

Article 19 of Geneva Convention (1), Chapter III "Medical Units and Establishments" states that "Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict."

Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute also provides liability for "Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians." Besides, Article 13(2) of Protocol Additional II to the Geneva Conventions is also a source of prohibition forming this corpus delicti. According to it, the civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack.

The full responsibility for the committing of those antihuman barbaric acts rests with the ruling Kiev group and the persons in charge of the "Anti-terrorist operation" declared by Kiev and supported by the so-called President Elect of Ukraine P.A. Poroshenko.

The war crimes repeatedly committed by the Kiev authorities during a long period of time in April and May, neglect for the basic humanitarian regulations demonstrate an overtly punitive character of the operation carried out by Kiev. We would like to remind anyone concerned that war crimes have no period of limitation and that the Government of the DPR will apply its best efforts to bring the persons involved in them to trial by International Criminal Court.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic
the 31st of May, 2014

(Перевод Е. Цыпин)

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