During a news conference in Moscow last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized laws-of-war violations by Ukrainian government forces, referring to a Human Rights Watch report I wrote about the government's unlawful use of unguided rockets in populated areas. Since Lavrov is concerned about laws-of-war violations, there are other issues he should be speaking out about, and other audiences he should address.
With horrendous reports of death and destruction coming from Ukraine, the UK Home Office continues to regard it as a “safe country of origin” for asylum seekers. That means a Ukrainian asylum seeker landing at Heathrow tonight would still be forced to overcome a presumption that his asylum claim is frivolous.
The ugliness of war makes getting at the truth no easy matter. In the fighting in eastern Ukraine, the pro-Ukraine media is blaming all abuses on anti-Kiev insurgents and pro-Russia media is demonizing Ukrainian government forces.
While in the rest of Ukraine people were casting their ballots for new president, all election-related activity was paralyzed in the southeast of the country, with armed groups raiding election commissions, harassing, beating and even kidnapping commission members and staff.
Elections in Ukraine have resulted in confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko winning the presidency. He has his work cut out for him after turbulent months of armed violence in Kiev, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and an anti-Kiev insurgency in the east that has spiralled out of control
The Ukraine crisis has focussed attention on the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Germany and elsewhere. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has consistently pushed for a stronger role for the OSCE in Ukraine and defended it against criticism in Berlin following the release of the kidnapped OSCE military observers in early May.