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Russian Rights Ombudswoman Slams EU Over Ukraine Silence

Russian human rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova and presidential Human Rights Council member Andrei Yurov at a meeting of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin in early September.

Russia's human rights ombudswoman has accused the European Union of "ignoring human suffering" in eastern Ukraine, in an interview published in the state-run bulletin "Rossiiskaya gazeta."

Ella Pamfilova said that although Europe is "an icon in the style of human rights, democracy, and freedom of speech," it "openly prefers to disregard the situation in southeastern Ukraine."

She added that Europe's media "are simply fulfilling the order to brand and to accuse Russia of everything."

She admitted that "there are things to criticize Russia for" but added that "one must have a moral right to do so." She added that she is disappointed that human rights have become "a bargaining chip in big politics."

Pamfilova served as social affairs minister under President Boris Yeltsin and as a liberal member of the State Duma between 1994 and 1999.

She has headed President Vladimir Putin's commissioner for human rights since March.