May 16, 2014 / 10:38 AM / 6 years ago

Russia lambasts U.N. report on rights in Ukraine

A pro-Russian rebel uses the scope of a sniper's rifle to check the area around a rebel-held position on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk may 15, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia criticised a U.N. report on human rights in Ukraine on Friday, saying it lacked any semblance of objectivity, and accused its authors of following “political orders” to whitewash the pro-Western leadership.

The Foreign Ministry said the report demonised pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine while ignoring “the crudest violations of human rights by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities.”

U.N. monitors found an alarming deterioration in the situation in the east and serious problems emerging in Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said in a statement accompanying the report.

Russia said the report “cast doubt on the independence and impartiality” of the U.N. human rights body.

“The complete lack of objectivity, glaring disparities and double standards leave no doubt that its authors carried out a political order to whitewash the self-proclaimed authorities in Kiev,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the report’s authors had tailored information from sources “to fit preconceived conclusions: the justification of the Kiev junta and the demonisation of the protest movement in the southeast”.

Russia accuses the United States and the European Union of helping Ukraine’s current leaders topple former President Viktor Yanukovich, and denies Western allegations that it supports the separatists in the east.

Moscow does not recognise the legitimacy of the new Kiev leadership and refers to it as a junta.

Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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