Press Digest: Discovery of burial site implicates Kiev forces in atrocity

Pro-Russian rebels guard a Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe car in the village of Nyzhnya Krynka, eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

Pro-Russian rebels guard a Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe car in the village of Nyzhnya Krynka, eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on the latest developments in Ukraine, including the unearthing of what appears to be a mass burial site in a village near Donetsk following the retreat of pro-Kiev forces, and the beginning of OSCE monitoring of the buffer zone between Ukrainian army units and pro-autonomy militants in the Donbass.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports that locals have accidentally discovered a burial site near the Kommunar mine near the village of Nizhnyaya Krynka, roughly 40 miles from Donetsk, after the withdrawal of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Neither Ukrainian nor Western media had previously covered cases of abuse carried out against civilians by the Ukrainian security services. However, this time observers and experts from the OSCE have come to the crime scene, the newspaper writes. The discovery of the burial site is the first direct evidence of how Kiev’s National Guard battalions have been acting in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. “The evidence is irrefutable, and Kiev and Brussels cannot dismiss it or write it off as propaganda,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

International human rights organization Amnesty International reported documented facts of war crimes – beatings, looting, and illegal arrests – a month ago. “At the time, Kiev simply dismissed the published report because the organization’s experts reported on rapes and extrajudicial executions based on the eyewitness reports of locals, allegedly without providing evidence,” the article reads. 

Kommersant

The Kommersant daily writes that the Russian Investigative Committee is beginning to verify the discovery of a mass burial site in the Donbass. According to Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, it is thought that the Ukrainian security services killed innocent civilians.

Kiev has called accusations against the National Guard a provocation. Moscow is referring to “war crimes” presumably perpetrated by the Ukrainian security services. Russia intends to establish the truth with the help of an international investigation under the aegis of the OSCE. It has already asked the organization’s mission in Ukraine to “take up the case.” 

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Moskovsky Komsomolets reports that OSCE observers have started to monitor the buffer zone between territory controlled by the Donbass militants and the Ukrainian security services.

“They have started patrolling,” Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said of the mission’s members. According to him, there will be 90 or even 100 observers in large cities like Donetsk and Lugansk, while there will be 50 each in Kramatorsk, Mariupol, and Antratsit. These cities are the sectors into which the region has been split as a result of the agreements reached in Minsk. However, these are far from all of the observers who will be present in the Donbass. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier has said that the number of observers in the conflict zone will be increased by 500 percent. 

Gazeta.ru

According to Gazeta.ru, gas prices in the Ukrainian housing sector may quadruple by the end of this year due to the accelerated implementation of a program to equalize prices for industry and residents.

Gazeta.ru warns that this price hike will cause an increase in non-payment by consumers. A substantial number of Ukrainians are already refusing to pay for their gas at the current price. According to Naftogaz Ukrainy chief Andrei Kobolev, total arrears owed to the company come to approximately 40 billion hryvnia (about $3.2 billion), half of which is owed by municipal power companies.

“There could possibly be a crisis caused by failures by the population to pay for gas because of sharp growth in tariffs, which could provoke a social outcry,” Gazeta.ru writes.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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