Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that more than 400 bodies have been discovered in mass graves near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in what he described as “horrific” evidence that pointed to a war crime.
“This is obviously a war crime. Already more than 400 bodies have been discovered in [mass] graves outside Donetsk and we hope that western capitals will not hush up these facts [because] they’re horrific,” Lavrov said, adding there was an apparent blackout of the incident in Western mass media.
Last week, several mass graves filled with bodies of massacred civilians and independence supporters, killed execution-style, were unearthed 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk.
“I expect [to hear] a clear, unbiased and responsible response from international organizations. OSCE is already working at the scene. We will make the truth known and, of course, make sure that the justice is done,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference.
Speaking at PACE’s fall session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Russian lawmaker Olga Kazakova called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to keep an eye on the investigation into this horrendous massacre.
The independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine believe that the civilians were murdered by the National Guard fighters who had stayed in the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, near the city of Donetsk, where the graves had been discovered, since April. Ukrainian authorities later denied this accusation, saying that not a single National Guard fighter had been in the area, adding however that some other Ukrainian units were deployed there at the time.
Lavrov commented on Kiev’s recent claim to conduct an open and impartial probe of the alleged massacre as soon as it regained control of the area, saying it was pure hypocrisy because “these crimes were obviously perpetrated there at the time when Ukrainian security forces were in control of this region.”