The 2022 annual human rights report, published by the US State Department on Monday, blames the censorship of media, bans on political parties and extrajudicial executions in Ukraine on the Russian “invasion.” Kiev’s crackdown on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not mentioned at all.
The report notes that businessman Denis Kireev was “allegedly killed during his arrest by the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU] after it obtained a recording of Kireyev allegedly implicating himself in treason.” It goes on to quote the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) saying “the circumstances of [Kireev’s] death remain unclear.”
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence and Kireev’s bodyguards told the Wall Street Journal that SBU agents seized him, shot him in the back of the head, and dumped his body on a Kiev street as a warning.
No mention was made of the extrajudicial executions of four opposition activists in Ukrainian-held Severodonetsk in May, despite Azov commander Maksim Zhorin boasting about it on social media.
The State Department claims there were “no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities” and “no reports of political prisoners or detainees in the government-controlled area of Ukraine.” However, it later quotes the UN human rights mission as saying that Ukrainian “law enforcement agencies and armed forces were responsible for arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances on government-controlled territory.”