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News from the CIS countries

Savchenko material shows how Russia concocted ‘case’ and what it can’t conceal

02.07.15 | Halya Coynash
The defence has begun publishing the case material against Nadiya Savchenko, captured by Kremlin-backed militants in eastern Ukraine and now on trial in Russia. Appropriately enough they begin with grotesquely absurd testimony from Igor Plotnytsky, militant leader and identified by Savchenko as one of her abductors
News from the CIS countries

Children learn ’patriotism’ and to shoot Kalashnikovs in occupied Crimea

02.07.15 | Halya Coynash
The final of the Russian military-sport game ‘Victory’ has taken place for the first time in Russian-occupied Crimea, with teenagers from 14-16 competing in shooting, as well as dismantling and putting together Kalashnikov rifles. The event is aimed at, among other things, ensuring a “solid basis of patriotic awareness” and an “understanding of Russia’s strength and resilience”.
On refugees

Over 1.3 million people forced from Donbas and Crimea need a decent law

02.07.15
Ukrainian human rights organizations have addressed an appeal to the country’s legislators to enable swift passage of a bill urgently needed to help people forced from their homes by Russia’s invasion of Crimea and military conflict in Donbas.
News from the CIS countries

Russia to declare Baltic Republics’ independence unlawful?

01.07.15 | Halya Coynash
Interfax reports that Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is to check whether the Baltic Republics declared independence legally. This comes just days after the same illustrious body informed that the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 had been ‘unconstitutional’ and therefore illegitimate.
Politics and human rights

Criticism of Government cleaning (lustration) law swept under the carpet

01.07.15 | Halya Coynash
The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission made some very critical comments and recommendations about Ukraine’s law on ‘cleaning up the government’, though you wouldn’t know it from reading the report on the Justice Ministry website
Deported peoples

Steep fines in Russian-occupied Crimea for Remembrance

01.07.15
Steep fines imposed on Saniye Ametova as well as village imam Yunus Nemetelluyaev were over authorized meetings on May 18 in memory of the victims of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatar People
The right to a fair trial

Maidan activist appeals legally absurd 4 year sentence

30.06.15
The appeal hearing has been postponed and is now due on July 8 against the first prison sentenced passed in Russian-occupied Crimea against Euromaidan activist Oleksandr Kostenko, which the authoritative Memorial society calls part of a campaign against pro-Ukrainian activists in Crimea
Army

Ambush in Kharkiv

30.06.15 | Yevhen Zakharov, Inna Sukhorukova
On how they fulfill the mobilization plan in Kharkiv
Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan, The right to a fair trial

High-ranking Berkut officer charged over Euromaidan killings

29.06.15 | Halya Coynash
A police lieutenant colonel, working in the police force until his arrest this month, has been remanded in custody in what lawyers representing Euromaidan victims or their families call the most significant arrest so far
News from the CIS countries

"Not yours anyway!" Russia claims transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was ‘unconstitutional’

29.06.15 | Halya Coynash
As well as seeking a Russian NGO’s prosecution for warning Russian tourists that Crimea is Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation, Russia’s Prosecutor General has asserted that the 1954 decision which formally made Crimea part of Ukraine was illegitimate. This is not the first such attempt to rewrite geopolitical history
Environmental rights

Russia’s Bridge to Crimea: Quick Profits for Putin’s Crony, Zero Accountability

29.06.15 | Halya Coynash
Russian legislators look set to pass a bill virtually eliminating environmental impact analyses to enable fast-track construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait linking Crimea with Russia and massive profit for one of Vladimir Putin’s oligarch friends
Army

Outrage as young men grabbed off the street in Kharkiv for military service

29.06.15
While the regional military commissar claims that all is in order, representatives of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group are adamant that this is in breach of the Constitution and can be viewed as abduction
Deported peoples

‘Warnings’ and Pro-Regime Copycat Events on Crimean Tatar Flag Day

26.06.15
The occupation regime seems incapable of any change of format. After banning traditional events to mark the day, it has been busy issuing Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists with ‘warnings’ and trying to convince Crimean Tatars to take part in copycat events organized by pro-regime organizations.
News from the CIS countries

“Jewish pogroms in Ukraine” that we all missed

26.06.15 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s Foreign Ministry is again aware of ‘pogroms’ that experienced researchers of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine and human rights groups would seem to have not noticed. Its keeping the details to itself however
Freedom of expression

17-year-old Crimean charged with ‘extremism’ for social network entries

26.06.15 | Halya Coynash
Yet another anonymous Crimean is facing criminal charges on unclear charges in Russian-occupied Crimea, this time a teenager

  

Articles

Final act in Russian reprisal against Sentsov and Kolchenko imminent

Halya Coynash
The Russian trial of renowned film director Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko whose arrests are widely viewed as politically motivated could begin within weeks. Both are facing sentences of 17-20 years effectively for refusing to ‘confess’ to non-existent acts of terrorism

On Police Reform

Yevhen Zakharov
A brief description of the changes due to take place this year in the Ukrainian police force

‘Russian World’ and Religious Persecution in Donbas

Halya Coynash
A recent report highlights widespread and systematic persecution of all religious groups except believers linked to the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Donbas, and the role of Russia and its armed criminal ‘crusaders’ in mounting crimes against humanity in the region.

President signs dangerously flawed ‘decommunization’ laws

Halya Coynash
President Poroshenko has signed highly contentious laws one of which effectively criminalizes public expression of views held by many Ukrainians. The assurance given that a bill will be tabled to rectify some of the problems appears to refer to only one of the laws and begs the question of why faulty laws should be signed into law before being corrected

EuroMaidan activist sentenced to 4 years on surreal charges

Halya Coynash
The trial in Russian-occupied Crimea of Oleksandr Kostenko is one of unprecedented cynicism and of critical importance, sending a message to any Crimean, or Ukrainian national who appears in Crimea that they can face trumped-up charges over which courts in Crimea can have no jurisdiction, yet still find themselves behind bars.

Chillingly Soviet: Imprisonment without a Crime in Crimea

Halya Coynash
Crimeans, mostly Crimean Tatars, under Russian occupation are effectively being imprisoned without any elements of a crime, in most cases without any sign of a trial, with the lack of international reaction making them as defenceless as the many Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists who have disappeared without trace since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

More Evidence against Incendiary Lies about Odesa 2 May

Halya Coynash
Important findings about the fire in the Trade Union Building on May 2, 2014 demonstrate yet again the full cynicism of the Russian propaganda machine in its deliberate attempts to stir up hatred and desire for revenge through lies about a massacre that day.