State Duma deputy proposes intl inquiry into mass graves in Donbass

United Russia deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov has offered the State Duma to initiate the formation of an international commission, which will look into the death of the people found in a mass grave 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Donbass on Tuesday.

United Russia deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov has offered the State Duma to initiate the formation of an international commission, which will look into the death of the people found in a mass grave 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Donbass on Tuesday.

"We can hardly investigate all war crimes although this is necessary, but here is a concrete case which should be investigated by an international commission and I believe we, the State Duma, should call for its formation," Nikonov said at a State Duma sitting on Wednesday.

In his opinion, the international community should pay attention to the mass grave and hold a thorough and unbiased inquiry.

In turn, State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee Chairperson Irina Yarovaya told reporters, "The mass burial of civilians in Donbass should be the subject of an imminent inquiry by a Hague Tribunal prosecutor."

The prosecutor has complete grounds to visit the crime scene, examine it with the help of forensic specialists and open a criminal inquiry on the counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, she said.

"The monstrosity of this fact is apparent and a failure of international human rights organizations to take efficient measures will be the sign of their silent consent and help conceal this and other crimes and exempt war criminals from liability," the committee chairperson emphasized.

She said she was confident that the proposal of United Russia deputies to set up an ad hoc international commission investigating the mass burial of civilians near Donetsk would gain support of all factions in the State Duma.

A representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Investigative Committee told Interfax earlier that day that a mass grave of civilians and DPR fighters was found on the premises of mine No 22 in the town of Kommunar, 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Donetsk. The detective said two graves were found, one containing the bodies of four civilians and the other with the bodies of five DPR fighters.

He said the Ukrainian National Guard held positions on that site a few days earlier.

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