Russia sues Ukraine at European Court for Human Rights

Russia has filed its first interstate application at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a press release published on the website of the Office of Prosecutor General said. The application concerns a number of violations of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine that took place after the Maidan coup in 2014.

The document states that Ukraine has repeatedly violated a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, such as "Right to life", "Prohibition of torture", "Right to liberty and security of person", "Right to respect for private and family life" and others.

In particular, it goes about Kiev's responsibility for:

  • death of people during the 2014 coup (Euromaidan, fire in the Odessa House of Trade Unions, anti-terrorist operation in Donbass, the crash of Malaysian Boeing),
  • infringement of the rights of the Russian-speaking population,
  • persecution of journalists,
  • kidnapping,
  • attacks on Russian diplomatic missions,
  • discrimination against Russian businesses,
  • blockage of fresh water supplies to Crimea.

The application contains a detailed description of "the process of the unconstitutional change of power in Ukraine and the advancement of nationalist forces into Ukrainian state bodies."

The Ukrainian authorities did not take any effort to suppress nationalists' actions, but encouraged and supported them up for more than seven years, without conducting an independent investigation.

Russia's application is based on the events that followed the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014 and involved useless loss of life.

The document states that after the violent seizure of power in Kiev that resulted in more than 100 casualties, a civil war broke our in the east of the country, which was subsequently disguised as an anti-terrorist operation, which led to thousands of civilian casualties.

Russia blames Nazi Ukrainian authorites

Moscow accuses the Ukrainian authorities of involvement in the abduction of Donbass residents and Russian citizens (including the use of torture), of physical elimination of opposition politicians and journalists, as well as of the widespread discrimination of the Russian-speaking population. The document also says that in April 2014, after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, Ukraine closed the source of fresh water supplies to the peninsula.

"Ukraine is fully responsible for the deaths of passengers and crew members of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777, Flight MH17, (…) due to the failure to close its airspace,” the document says.

Russia also claims that Ukraine has established systematic practice to commit terrorist crimes against Russian citizens and discriminate Russian companies that were eventually forced to leave the Ukrainian market. It goes about such companies as Lukoil, Sberbank, Prominvestbank, VTB, VKontakte (Mail.ru Group), Yandex and others.

With this application, Russia seeks to draw the attention of the European Court and the international community to gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Ukrainian authorities, to conduct a proper investigation, bring perpetrators to justice and "restore peace and harmony on the territory of Ukraine.

It is worthy of note that Kiev has already filed more than one lawsuit against Moscow at international court instances. The last lawsuit, the ninth one, was filed in February of this year, when Kiev accused Moscow of allegedly "killing political opponents." The previous complaints were related to hostilities in Donbass, including the Flight MH17 disaster, the entry of Crimea into Russia and the detention of Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait in 2018.

Russia has the right to expect a reaction from the European Court of Human Rights, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on Moscow's move to file an interstate complaint against Ukraine, TASS reports.

"This is an absolutely natural move, which is provided for by the rules of this international organization,” added Peskov.

Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev believes that the very fact of the Russian complaint to the ECHR will whip the Ukrainian authorities into shape. According to him, the Ukrainian authorities are aware of the crimes committed by the Ukrainian security forces and volunteer battalions.

Odessa House of Trade Unions fire