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today 27.03.2015 13:53
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News from the CIS countries

Savchenko: New charge dismissed as ‘technical mistake’

27.03.15 | Halya Coynash
Moscow’s Basmanny Court has agreed to call a further charge in the indictment against Nadiya Savchenko, one that carries a 20-year prison sentence, a “technical mistake”. It found no problem with the investigators’ merging of two other charges against the Ukrainian pilot, one of which was announced the day after PACE demanded her release within 24 hours.
News from the CIS countries

Kaliningrad ’flag prisoners’ charged with insulting the veterans Moscow rejects

27.03.15 | Halya Coynash
While 3 Russian nationals, facing 7-year-sentences for raising a flag, are charged with having offended veterans of the Second World War, Moscow is taking measures to ensure that elderly veterans who helped win that War will not be allowed near the parade on Red Square marking the seventieth anniversary of Victory Day.
The right to a fair trial

Russian-occupied Crimea: Maidan activist on trial, Berkut riot officers - the ‘victims’

Crimea’s puppet ‘prosecutor’ Natalya Poklonskay has announced that the ‘case’ against EuroMaidan activist Alexander Kostenko over alleged actions in Kyiv before Russia annexed Crimea has been passed to the court. Poklonskaya herself will be representing the prosecution in a trial which even by occupation regime standards reflects a mafia-like attitude to the law.
Politics and human rights

Ukraine makes first arrest of boat illegally entering Crimean port

26.03.15 | Halya Coynash
Ukraine has finally taken a major step towards penalizing vessels which breach Ukrainian law and flout the UN resolution on Crimea by entering Crimean ports, under Russian occupation.
The right to a fair trial

Long sentence for murderous ’anti-paedophile’ thuggery in Odessa

7-year sentence for 19-year-old ringleader of a group of supposed ‘paedophile’ persecutors who inflicted fatal injuries on one of their victims. The vigilante group was analogous to the notorious “Okkupai-pedofilyai” gangs first organized by Russian neo-Nazi former skinhead Maxim Martsinkevich.
News from the CIS countries

One Professional Russian Troll Tells All

26.03.15 | Dmitry Volchek, Daisy Sindelar
Former employees of Russia’s best-known "troll farm" reveal what the operation looks like from the inside.
News from the CIS countries

Guilty of being Ukrainian: Russian court sentences Maidan activist to 2 years

25.03.15 | Halya Coynash
Yury Yatsenko, the 25-year-old student first detained in May 2014 after Russian officials realized he was from Lviv has been sentenced to 2 years low security prison colony. The charges were only laid after he and a friend had been in detention for some months and bear no scrutiny, but this did not deter Russian investigators nor the court.
Freedom of expression

Last desperate attempt to save Crimean Tatar TV channel

Two vital – and independent – media resources face closure in Russian-occupied Crimea. The Crimean News Agency QHA has been openly refused registration, and it is extremely likely that TV ATR, the only Crimean Tatar television channel in the world, will be forced off air from April 1
News from the CIS countries

Perm’s Big Chill

25.03.15 | Tom Baimforth
There’s one place in the world where can you see the original, preserved barracks of Stalin’s Gulag – the Perm-36 camp in the Urals. But nowadays it’s something else that strikes you as you flick through the museum’s pamphlet: The words "Stalin," "dissident," or "gulag" are nowhere to be seen.
Politics and human rights

Why Russia fears Donbas ’special status’ linked to fair elections

24.03.15 | Halya Coynash
Ukraine’s demand that special status follow honest elections with international observers caused rage in Moscow. Take away the machine guns at polling booths, elimination of opposition and European neo-Nazi ‘observers’, and the reason for hysteria from the Kremlin and their proxies in Ukraine is clear.
Prohibition of discrimination

A Welcome First: Ukraine’s first university student with Down Syndrome

19-year-old Bohdan Kravchuk from Lutsk in Western Ukraine is a first year student in the history faculty of the Lesya Ukrainka East European National University.
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar Mejlis holds important election as repression continues

Nariman Dzhelyal has been elected First Deputy Head of the Mejlis, against which the occupation regime in Crimea has been relentlessly waging an offensive since shortly after annexation. Ilmi Umerov was elected Deputy Head just hours after he became the latest member of the Mejlis to receive a formal summons to appear for interrogation
News from the CIS countries

7 years for raising flag in protest at Russian invasion of Crimea

23.03.15 | Halya Coynash
The trial has begun in Kaliningrad of three men held in detention since last March for placing a German flag on the garage of the FSB building as a form of peaceful protest over Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea. Despite quite bizarre charges, they face up to 7 year sentences
News from the CIS countries

Anti-fascist protesters detained, neo-Nazi sadist welcomed at Russian far-right forum

23.03.15 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s anti-extremism squad had issue only with those objecting to the St. Petersburg forum of mainly European and Russian far-right and neo-Nazi parties. Notorious Russian neo-Nazi sadist Alexei Milchakov and his comrade in arms and Nazi views, Jan Petrovsky were there representing the Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas
Interethnic relations

Monument to Victims of Holocaust desecrated in Mykolaiv

This is unfortunately not the first such attack, with one back in 2012 and a spate of three in 2013.



Crimean survey removed after majority vote against annexation

Halya Coynash
If the survey that appeared on the pro-Russian Krymskaya Pravda website was real, then were a referendum to now be held on the status of Crimea, 61% of the respondents would vote for greater autonomy within Ukraine, and only 19% would vote to join Russia. It is a big ‘if’, with Krymskaya Pravda now claiming that the survey was the “latest provocation by enemies of Crimea”.

Nadiya Savchenko: “I’m learning to change tactics”

Halya Coynash
On Nadiya Savchenko’s letter explaining her change in tactics and partial termination of her hunger strike

Polish Film Academy Demand Release of Oleg Sentsov

Halya Coynash
In a wonderful show of solidarity, members of the Polish Film Academy have called on Russia to release Crimean film director Oleg Sentsov and have promised not to abandon their Ukrainian colleague. .

Bitter Crimean Anniversary – Victims of Russian Annexation

Halya Coynash
It is exactly one year since Russian forces seized control of government buildings and airports in Crimea and organized the events leading swiftly to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It was a year that saw murder and disappearances, Soviet-style bans and deportation, as well as persecution of all who oppose Russia’s occupation

Odessa May 2 trial turns into farce as Russia continues ‘massacre’ propaganda

Halya Coynash
Whatever the reasons for delays and flaws in investigating and prosecuting crimes related to the disturbances, fire and deaths on May 2, 2014 in Odessa, procrastination serves only the interests of Russian propaganda’s ‘massacre’ claims

Crimean Tatar leader arrested in new wave of repression

Halya Coynash
The arrest of Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis, on suspicion of ‘organizing and taking part in mass disturbances’ is of unprecedented cynicism. There is not only video footage demonstrating his innocence, but the charges are under Russian legislation which not even Russia would claim was in force on Feb 26, 2014

Report on the human rights mission to the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

Lyudmila Klochko, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group [KHPG], together with the German NGO ‘European Exchange’ and representatives of NGOs from the Russian Federation and Germany with the support of the German Foreign Ministry, carried out an international mission to monitor human rights in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on territory which is back under Ukrainian control.