Children killed as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine.Listen /
The UN Human rights office says it has received numerous reports of civilian deaths as well as deliberate targeting of schools, water and electricity plants in parts of eastern Ukraine following the end of a ceasefire on June 30.
The worst affected areas are Donetsk and Luhansk.
A UN human rights monitoring team in the country has documented the killing of five children in the two regions in June as well as the use of landmines which have allegedly led to three deaths and left several people injured.
Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights Chief says the Ukrainian Government has a duty to investigate every alleged extrajudicial killing and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Ravina Shamdasani is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.
"We are particularly disturbed by a message on the website of one leader of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic', which states and I quote, 'underage children and women are legitimate targets and that the goal is to immerse them in horror'. Such blatant incitement to violence is utterly reprehensible and a clear violation of international human rights law. There has been strong hate speech from all sides. I am deeply concerned about the safety of the people who remain trapped in Donetsk and Luhansk areas controlled by the armed groups and are caught in the crossfire between armed groups and the Ukrainian Government. We remind all those involved in the fighting that all measures must be taken to ensure that the fundamental human rights – including the right to life – of residents of these two regions is scrupulously respected."
Ms Pillay is urging all sides to the conflict in Ukraine to put down their arms, to engage in dialogue and to turn away from the destructive path towards which they are leading the east of Ukraine.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.