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News from the CIS countries

Moscow shouts ‘abduction’ yet holds Ukrainian hostages incommunicado

25.05.15 | Halya Coynash
While Ukrainians have either disappeared without trace after being taken prisoner in Russia over the last year, or are being denied access to lawyers and the Ukrainian consul, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to its own nationals travelling abroad that they could face arrest or detention
Law enforcement agencies

Another attack on journalists investigating Interior Ministry corruption

25.05.15 | Halya Coynash
For the second time in the space of a few weeks, investigative journalists probing corruption within the Interior Ministry have come under attack. The film crew was from the same programme whose findings recently led to the top Traffic Police official losing his job
Against torture and ill-treatment

Ukraine: Overwhelming new evidence of prisoners being tortured and killed amid conflict

25.05.15
Overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes, including torture and summary killings of prisoners, serve as a stark reminder of the brutal practices being committed on a near-daily basis in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Amnesty International says in a new report
The right to liberty and security

Desperate plea from Luhansk hostage facing 15-year ‘sentence’

22.05.15 | Halya Coynash
30-year-old Luhansk journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva is clearly seen as a trophy by the Kremlin-backed militants. A new video of their terrorized captive, whom they are threatening with a ’trial’ and 15-year ’sentence’, has now been broadcast for propaganda purposes by Russia’s LifeNews TV channel.
Freedom of peaceful assembly

Embroidery Day in Crimea: Detention, Interrogation & Ghoulish Threats

22.05.15 | Halya Coynash 
A flash mob to mark Ukrainian Embroidery Day in Russian-occupied Crimea resulted in 4 Ukrainian activists and 3 journalists being detained, interrogated for 5 hours and having their fingerprints taken. When asked why the fingerprints were needed, the officers replied that this is in case “something happens to you tomorrow. Headless bodies get found here”.
Law enforcement agencies

On Police Reform

21.05.15 | Yevhen Zakharov
A brief description of the changes due to take place this year in the Ukrainian police force
Freedom of conscience and religion

‘Russian World’ and Religious Persecution in Donbas

21.05.15 | 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.
Politics and human rights

No Collaboration with Russian-occupied Crimea - Boycott Joe Lynn Turner!

21.05.15
A day after Crimean Tatars were prevented from gathering in memory of victims of the Deportation, with some even detained and facing charges, US rock musician Joe Lynn Turner saw fit to give a concert in Sevastopol which he called one of the most beautiful cities in Russia.
News from the CIS countries

Name Your Poison -- Exotic Toxins Fell Kremlin Foes

21.05.15 | Ron Synovitz
The discovery of poison from an exotic Asian plant in the stomach of Aleksandr Perepilichny, a wealthy Russian whistle-blower who died suddenly in England in 2012, has raised suspicions of a KGB-style assassination
Law enforcement agencies

Head of Traffic Police Dismissed after Scandalous Lifestyle Exposed

20.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has just been forced to remove a second police associate after a damning report exposed fiddled records and the head of Ukraine’s traffic police living it up in style. Worryingly, he has promised only an ’internal inquiry’ into the extremely serious allegations.
News from the CIS countries

“New Iron Curtain”: Russia passes draconian law on ‘undesirable organizations’

20.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s State Duma has passed a draconian law on so-called ‘undesirable organizations’ which gravely threatens Russia’s already beleaguered and weak civil society.
News from the CIS countries

Slain Kremlin whistle-blower’s book banned in Russia as ‘extremist’

20.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Russia has placed a book written by former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko on its list of extremist materials and forced an Internet library to remove it. This comes 3 months after Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded a state honour to the man suspected of killing London-based Litvinenko with radioactive polonium
Politics and human rights

Russian protesters demand withdrawal of Russian soldiers from Ukraine

19.05.15 | Halya Coynash
While the Kremlin continues to deny deployment of any Russian soldiers in Ukraine, including two spetsnaz soldiers just captured, the BBC Russian Service reports that a brief protest was held outside the soldiers’ military base in Tolyatii with around 10 Russians demanding that Russia withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
Deported peoples

Solidarity & Barbed Wire for Stalin as Crimean Tatars detained for Remembrance

19.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Amid bans, intimidation, the detention and interrogation of Crimean Tatars remembering the victims of the Deportation, there were moments on May 18 of moving solidarity. Under Russian occupation, some involved real courage.
Deported peoples

Police arrests in feared clampdown on Remembrance of Crimean Tatar Deportation

18.05.15 | Halya Coynash
The occupation regime in Crimea is actively detaining both journalists and Crimean Tatars taking part in traditional remembrance actions marking the 71st anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatar people

  

Articles

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.

Second sentence passed in Crimean ‘terrorist’ trial of opponents of annexation

Halya Coynash
Oleksy Chirniy, who ‘confessed’ and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution has received a 7-year sentence. The final indictments against Crimean film director Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko have, as expected, proven devoid of any elements of ‘terrorism’, yet both men are facing likely maximum sentences as punishment for refusing to ‘cooperate’

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.