Below International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) is sharing a civil society monitoring update about the current worrisome situation in Ukraine, containing information on casualties, detentions and missing people in Kyiv. The information has been compiled by the Ukrainian NGO Center for Civil Liberties, which like IPHR is a member of the international Civic Solidarity Platform, and the Euromaidan SOS initiative group. IPHR is greatly alarmed by the escalation of violence and believes that it underscores the importance of resolute and coordinated international responses to the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukraine: Monitoring update by the Center for Civil Liberties and Euromaidan SOS
19 February 2014
The escalation in violence seen in Kyiv yesterday, 18 February 2014, has resulted in unprecedented casualties. This monitoring update provides basic facts related to these developments reported by the Center for Civil Liberties, a Ukrainian member of the international Civic Solidarity Platform, and Euromaidan SOS, a civil society initiative group established in November 2013 to monitor Euromaidan developments and provide assistance to victims. The monitoring of these groups was carried out on the basis of information from victim hot line contacts, Euromaidan participants, medical services, authorities, media and other sources. The information provides an interim update, with monitoring and fact-finding efforts continuing.
According to confirmed information, 25 people have died as a result of the violence. This includes 18 civilians and 7 law enforcement officers as reported by the ombudsman’s office in the morning of 19 February.* At least half of the people appear to have died of wounds caused by the use of lethal weapons/firearms.
The following online video shows how “titushki” (an expression used for agents provocateurs) shot and killed a man on the street, http://goo.gl/am6JSY. Later on journalist Vyacheslav Veremiy was killed in the same area by “titushki,” while his friend and taxi driver were severely beaten.
The estimations of the number of wounded persons differ, from 200 protesters and 200 law enforcement officers reported by the Ministry of Health, to up to 500-1000 protesters and 200 law enforcement officers according to independent sources. There have been reports of new attempts to arrest and abduct wounded people from hospitals, where civic guards are posted, and patients whose health state allows for this are being transferred to private apartments and houses. Field hospitals also operate now in Kyiv, performing even surgeries of protesters.
Allegedly more than 50 people have been detained, with 32 cases of detentions having been confirmed. Ill-treatment and torture of detainees have been reported.**Over 30 people are missing, with the number growing.
As of mid-Thursday, the Ministry of Defense announced that a 500-member strong special military paratroopers unit would be deployed from Dnepropetrovsk to Kiev, giving rise to fear of an imminent further aggravation of the situation.
*Among those reported dead are the following cases documented by the Center for Civil Liberties and Euromaidan SOS:
– 3 people found dead in the House of Officers: Serhiy Didych, Volodymyr Kischuk and Sergiy Shapoval
– 2 elderly people (male and female) found dead at the entrance to the metro station Khreschatyk: Georgia Zurab Khurtsia (Georgian citizen) and Antonina Dvoryanets
– 1 unidentified man found dead in front of the National Bank
– 1 unidentified protester found with his head cut off near the Verkhovna Rada (parliament)
– 5 unidentified people who were killed during the violent confrontation on Independence Square after police began storming it
– 2 people who died in hospital #17 (names not known at this stage)
– 7 unidentified bodies that were brought to the Kyiv city morgue
** An example recorded on video was posted at this address http://vk.com/wall242337619_391, but at this time the video has been removed.