Russian investigators present new ‘White Book’ detailing crimes of pro-Kiev forces in Donbass

© Irina Geraschenko
Russia’s agency for especially important crimes has presented a major report on war crimes committed by Kiev military and volunteers in the southeastern regions of Ukraine that seek self-determination after last year’s coup in the capital.

The head of the Investigation Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, said in the Monday press release that the main objective of the project was to attract the attention of the international community and international Human Rights Group and to tell the truth about the “terrible fratricidal war started by the nationalist regime of Ukraine.”

He added that the Investigative Committee was looking into 54 criminal cases connected with the civil war in Ukraine and that the combined materials on these cases make 2,500 volumes, including the testimonies of over 100,000 witnesses.

In the same release the agency elaborated that the White Book of Crimes was based on evidence collected by the Investigative Committee during the probes into cases where Ukrainian authorities and volunteers were suspected of using the banned methods of warfare. The evidence includes testimony of eyewitnesses and participants of these events, photos and various materials presented by international organizations.

The document also reads that the agency continues the investigation into the suspected crimes committed on the territory of the neighboring state and that a special department has been created within the Investigative Committee for this purpose.

Bastrykin wrote that the ultimate goal of the project was to ensure that all those involved in crimes receive the just punishment.

The name of the law enforcers’ report is apparently made similar to the document earlier released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. This White Book published in May 2014 and updated a few months later was compiled on the basis of reports from Russian, Ukrainian and international mass media as well as interviews by Russian NGOs of victims. It describes the abuse of law, use of torture, inhuman treatment and other human rights violations in Ukraine from the end of November 2013 to the end of March 2014.

READ MORE: Moscow releases ‘White Book’ on human rights abuses in crisis-torn Ukraine

According to the authors, the aim of the document is “to focus on facts which the international community and key international human rights bodies have not shown proper and impartial attention to.”

In December 2014, the Foreign Ministry’s plenipotentiary for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said that international organizations had confirmed the human rights violations by Kiev troops in eastern Ukraine detailed in the White Book. Dolgov also noted that Russia expected rights activists must to put pressure on the West and on Kiev authorities to prevent further crimes.

READ MORE: International human rights bodies confirm Russia’s White Book reports on Ukrainian abuse