17 August 2018 - We are pleased to see that the report on the human rights violations and abuses committed against civilians and persons hors de combat during the Ilovaisk events in August 2014 has created an opportunity for constructive dialogue about the need for a full-fledged and credible investigation into the events and accountability.

We would like to reiterate that the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission is present in Ukraine, has been here for more than four years, and remains open for further cooperation with all stakeholders who are willing to raise human rights concerns or share their testimonies, as victims and witnesses.

Since its deployment to Ukraine in March 2014, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has published 22 periodic reports on the human rights situation in Ukraine, and four thematic reports. The report on human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed against civilians and persons hors de combat in the context of Ilovaiskevents is one of them.

We strictly adhere to a standard and rigorous methodology applicable to UN Human Rights offices worldwide: human rights staff interview victims and witnesses of alleged human rights violations, and corroborate information from varioussources. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission is not an investigative authority. Based on the impartial information wegather and corroborate, we urge Ukrainian authorities toinvestigate all allegations of human rights violations to establish the facts.

In the report on the Ilovaisk events, we clearly state that all parties to the conflict have committed human rights violations and abuses, as well as international humanitarian lawviolations. Unfortunately, this is far too often the price of a conflict. Equally, in all conflicts, where the UN Human Rights Office operates, such violations are documented and authorities are urged to investigate these allegations. All stateshave an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.

We reiterate that it is essential to conduct an independent, credible, transparent and effective investigation into all allegations of human rights violations and abuses, as well as international humanitarian law violations, and to ensure that perpetrators are identified and held responsible, and victims are provided remedy.

We emphasize that accountability and truth are key – to avoid speculation, to provide justice and certainty to victims and their families, to improve human rights protection in the country, and to build a common foundation for peace and reconciliation.