[JURIST] A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement [press release] yesterday revealed that Ban had spoken with Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin regarding the ceasefire in Ukraine. Ban expressed concern over the situation and informed Klimkin that the UN would continue to follow the Security Council’s guidance. The ceasefire began earlier this month [JURIST report] after human rights groups, such as Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website], urged both sides to take precautions to protect civilians.
Russia’s ongoing conflict [BBC timeline] with Ukraine [JURIST news archive] has reinvigorated fears of Cold War Era politics and increased tensions between Russia and the West. In November the Ukrainian parliament was able to pass some key legislation pertaining to the protection of human rights [JURIST report], including laws on internally displaced persons, corruption and reform of the Office of the Prosecutor. The Ukrainian government has been subject to significant criticism for human rights violations and their use of incendiary weapons [JURIST report]. In July the UN human rights office issued a report documenting what it referred to as the “continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine” and calling for greater care to prevent civilian casualties [JURIST report]. In April the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] opened an investigation [JURIST report] into alleged crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes in the Ukraine.