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News from the CIS countries

Russia intensifies reprisals against Crimean political prisoner Gennady Afanasyev

10.02.16 | Halya Coynash
Gennady Afanasyev has been moved to a ‘prison-type cell’, one of the worst forms of punishment in the Russian prison system. This is the latest of constant moves aimed at making the conditions of his imprisonment unendurable since the young Crimean retracted his testimony against Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko
Politics and human rights, News from the CIS countries

Putin accused of directly ordering seizure of Debaltseve after agreed ceasefire

10.02.16 | Halya Coynash
Ruslan Leviev, Russian blogger and head of the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), is convinced that the order for the offensive on Debaltseve in Donbas was issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Social and economic rights

What’s Behind the Resignation of Minister Abromavicius?

10.02.16 | B.A. Kalymon, O. Havrylyshyn
The resignation of Aivaras Abromavicius from the position of Minister of Economic Development and Trade is another nail in the coffin for the hopes for serious reform in Ukraine
The right to life, Against torture and ill-treatment, The right to a fair trial

Kremlin-backed Donbas militants threaten to execute Ukrainian prisoners

09.02.16 | Halya Coynash
A spokesperson for the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’[‘DNR’] has claimed that the militants are not holding any civilians nor anybody illegally. All those in custody, Darya Morozova asserts, are ‘under investigation’, and could be sentenced to death.
Freedom of expression, Politics and human rights

Scandalous French ‘Masks of the Revolution’ film gets Russian ‘human rights’ award

09.02.16 | Halya Coynash
If Russian involvement in the making of French filmmaker Paul Moreira’s “Masks of the Revolution’ remains in question, there can be no doubt about the Russian propaganda drive now underway. The undisputed coup comes in the ‘human rights award’ to the creators of this film about Euromaidan and other events in Ukraine over the last two years “for courage and professionalism”.
The right to a fair trial

Ukrainian sentenced for civic stand after farcical trial in Russian-occupied Crimea

09.02.16
Volodymyr Balukh has been convicted of ‘insulting a police officer’ after a prosecution and trial that were at once comically inept, and a clear message to any Crimeans taking a civic position – and displaying a Ukrainian flag
News from the CIS countries

Only Torture Rules In Russia’s Trial of Klykh & Karpyuk

08.02.16 | Halya Coynash
Russian psychiatrists have claimed that Ukrainian Stanislav Klykh is fit to stand trial and court hearings at more intensive pace are scheduled to resume on Monday Feb 8. Clear signs of extreme psychological distress have proved as irrelevant to the Russian authorities, as alibis making the trial an absurdity, faulty historical facts and strong evidence to back allegations of torture.
Terrorism

Ominous echoes in bomb attack on Kherson Crimean Tatar Mejlis

08.02.16
Local Crimean Tatar leaders believe that the grenade attack on Sunday morning is part of a general campaign by pro-Russian forces aimed at fermenting trouble in the region and points to similarities with events on the eve of Russia’s annexation of neighbouring Crimea.
News from the CIS countries

Sent to Siberia for Opposing Russia’s Annexation of Crimea

08.02.16 | Halya Coynash
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko have been moved from Rostov, dashing the flickering hope that the Kremlin was already considering an exchange of the two political prisoners.
The right to a fair trial

On attempts to destroy accordionist Igor Zavadsky, or four years in prison on false charges

08.02.16
Full text of the interview with Andriy Bryhida for the newspaper "Evening Poltava"
Politics and human rights, The right to life

Unmarked Graves of Russia’s Undeclared War

05.02.16 | Halya Coynash
There are hundreds of unmarked graves in Donetsk cemeteries, most of them belonging to the Russian nationals killed in a war Russia unleashed and continues to deny any involvement in
Politics and human rights

Memorial demands that Russia return Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s hostage son to Ukraine

05.02.16
The Memorial Human Rights Centre notes that even against the violations of international law linked with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the fact that Khaiser Dzhemiliev is being held in a Russian prison is unprecedented
Politics and human rights

You Pay, I Say: Website Says It Exposed Russian TV Fakery

05.02.16 | Tom Balmforth
Is Russian state television making use of paid, Russian-speaking interview subjects to paint a picture of an out-of-control migrant crisis in Germany?
News from the CIS countries

Ukrainian hostage demands Russia try him for ‘war crimes’

04.02.16 | Halya Coynash
Just months after Russia’s Investigative Committee was forced to withdraw insane war crimes charges against Serhiy Litvinov and came up with a robbery charge instead, Litvinov has applied for this supposed ‘robbery’ to also be tried as a war crime. He can then be tried by a jury which will be less likely than a court to dismiss clear proof of innocence
The right to liberty and security

Kremlin-backed militants prove nobody is safe in Donbas

04.02.16
While 60-year-old religious scholar Ihor Kozlovsky and the coordinator of a volunteer initiative Marina Cherenkova remain imprisoned by Kremlin-backed militants in Donetsk, Cherenkova’s fellow volunteers have been forcibly removed from militant-controlled territory.

  

Articles

Will the West accept Potemkim elections in Donbas?

Halya Coynash
The Kremlin-backed militants of the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ are refusing to allow Ukrainian parties to take part in their local elections. This alone would make Western recognition questionable and it is only one of multiple sticking points.

‘Clear Signs of Sabotage’ in Odesa 2 May Investigation

Halya Coynash
20 months after the deadly disturbances and fire in Odesa on May 2, 2014, Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies have not only failed to properly investigate the events and find those responsible, but are effectively sabotaging the investigation.

Free the Kremlin’s 20 Ukrainian Hostages Now

Maria Tomak
In the last two years, campaigns persecuting Ukrainians have become an entirely normalized and systemized form of Russian military aggression.

How Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Sabotaged the Reform Process

Halya Coynash
A proper system of competition, perhaps involving professional organizations not directly selected by politicians, could result in candidates selected for their professional qualities, not political loyalty. Poroshenko’s reluctance to remove Shokin suggests there may be no other way

The Minsk Agreement format should change

Yevhen Zakharov
An attempt to look at the Minsk Agreement from the point of view of human rights

Open Lawlessness as Terror against Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash
All of Russia’s Crimean victims have had to confront varying forms of lawlessness, but none demonstrates contempt for the law quite so flagrantly as the criminal proceedings against Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz and other Crimean Tatars.

Russia is killing 73-year-old Ukrainian hostage Yury Soloshenko

Halya Coynash
Yury Soloshenko is not Russia’s only Ukrainian hostage, tried and convicted on absurd charges, but he is the only one who has been issued a death sentenc