Putin Calls on Russian Human Rights Experts to Monitor Ukraine

ST. PETERSBURG, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he hopes Russian human rights experts will pay attention to the situation in eastern Ukraine.

“When people are grabbed somewhere in some third country and taken away to be tried in the [United] States, this, of course, brings up a load of questions and requires attention from our public, from human rights organizations, the same we can say in regard to what is happening in eastern Ukraine. I really hope that our Russian human rights organizations are paying attention to this,” Putin said during a media forum in St. Petersburg.

The Security Service of Ukraine announced Wednesday that a military operation launched by Ukrainian authorities earlier this month against protesters in eastern Ukraine had again entered an active phase, following a temporary suspension after an agreement reached in Geneva last week.

Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to crack down on pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country that have been swept by rallies since last month.

Protesters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

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