An armed conflict in 2014 catapulted Ukraine into the ranks of countries deemed by the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Early Warning Project as being most at risk of perpetrating a mass killing against its own citizens.
A PHR team that travelled to Ukraine in 2015 found that the number of dead and missing overwhelmed the country’s limited capacity to identify them all. There was poor information management between government agencies and departments working on the identification of the dead and missing, frequent duplication, and poorly maintained databases.
The conflict-ridden east was plagued by devastated infrastructure, including of medical facilities, lack of medical supplies, militarization, restricted freedom of movement, and the blocking of western humanitarian aid organizations from delivering critical medical supplies and drugs.
The team also found that while Ukraine’s legal framework provides for safeguards against torture, the country falls short in several key areas, especially in regards to access to medical care in detention – an important safeguard against torture and other ill-treatment.