In letters dated 3 February 2017 to high-ranking officials within the international community, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij appealed for active measures in response to the most recent major artillery attacks in Eastern Ukraine by Russian military forces in direct violation of the Minsk agreements.
In recent days, intensified artillery attacks, and Grad rocket and mortar shelling of Ukrainian military positions near Avdiivka and surrounding vicinities have resulted in casualties and injuries among Ukrainian soldiers, as well as civilian injuries and significant damage to residential homes and infrastructure. More than 400,000 residents in the region of Avdiivkahave been affected by the loss of water, electricity and heat in sub-zero temperatures, creating a state of emergency.
Drawing attention to the potential for yet another humanitarian crisis in the region, the UWC President supported the conclusion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine that these military actions amount to a war crime in violation of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, specifically, the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
“The Ukrainian World Congress urges the international community to significantly strengthen the targeted economic sanctions against the Russian Federation and to provide Ukraine with military assistance in response to this deliberate escalation of artillery by Russian military forces, the refusal by the Russian Federation to honor the Minsk agreements, and the brutal disdain of the Russian Federation for the lives of innocent children, women and men living on the war-torn territory in Eastern Ukraine,” wrote UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The UWC President sent letters to the following high-ranking officials:
Agramunt Pedro, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Guterres António, United Nations Secretary-General
Hobbs David,Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Jagland Thorbjørn, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Juncker Jean-Claude, President of the European Commission
Stoltenberg Jens, NATO Secretary General
Tajani Antonio, President of the European Parliament
Thomson Peter, President of the United Nations General Assembly
Tusk Donald, President of the European Council
Zannier Lamberto, OSCE Secretary General