Ukraine's Foreign Ministry calls on HRW to pressure Russia after controversial report on use of landmines

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has said that they took note of the latest report of Human Rights Watch [international non-governmental organisation dedicated to protection of human rights – ed.], which claims that the Ukrainian military used prohibited anti-personnel mines that injured civilians.

This was said in the statement of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, quoted by European Pravda.

The Ministry emphasises that Ukraine "fully implements its international obligations while Russian occupants commit the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of the Ukrainian people."

Among such obligations, the Ministry mentioned the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Landmines, to which Ukraine is a party, and noted that the full-scale Russian aggression emphasises how important it is now to "universalise these multilateral mechanisms in the field of disarmament and arms control."

"We do expect that HRW, together with its international partners from non-governmental organisations and the entire world community, will intensify efforts in this direction, in particular, increase pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately cease the criminal war against Ukraine with its use of the entire range of inhumane weapons and to return to compliance with the international law", the statement says.

They also emphasised their readiness to cooperate with international non-governmental organisations, such as Human Rights Watch, and added that they count on its assistance in the field of mine action.

Earlier on Tuesday, HRW published a report, in which it claims that the Ukrainian military may have used missiles with anti-personnel mines ("petals") in the area of the city of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, as a result of which about 50 people were injured.

The organisation also said that it had contacted the ministries of defence and foreign affairs, as well as the Office of the President, for comments. The Ministry of Defence said that they would not comment on the types of weapons used until the end of the war.

The HRW report was criticised by Ukrainian human rights defenders who state that the harm from its publication exceeds the public interest of the information disclosed there: it harms the reputation of Ukraine at a time when it needs weapons from Western countries.

Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets drew attention to the fact that in the report, the territory of Crimea was marked as not belonging to Ukraine (later HRW apologised and promised to correct the map).

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