MOSCOW, March 17 Russia rejected as biased on
Monday an assessment by a United Nations official who questioned
accusations that Ukraine's Russian-speaking population faced
systematic human rights abuses.
The Russian Foreign Ministry statement criticised U.N.
Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic who
said last week there had been violations against ethnic Russians
in Ukraine but said there was no evidence they were "widespread
"The biased, prejudiced and unobjective assessment of I.
Simonovic on the human rights situation in the country calls
forth surprise and confusion," said the ministry in a statement.
Russia has effectively seized control of Ukraine's broadly
Russian-speaking Crimea region, which voted in a referendum on
Sunday to secede and join Russia. There are also large
Russian-speaking populations in the east of the country.
The statement also criticised Simonovic for a statement of
concern over the state of human rights for ethnic Tatars in
Two pro-Russian activists and one pro-Ukrainian protester
have been killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine. Russia has
criticised moves by Kiev's leadership to strike down Russian as
an official language in Ukraine.