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Politics and human rights

No Limits to Russian Impunity?

16.09.14 | Halya Coynash
If President Poroshenko’s ‘special status’ draft bill for the parts of Donbas under Kremlin-backed militant control is passed, it will create the latest of Moscow’s frozen conflicts in Europe and make a bitter mockery of rule of law in Ukraine
On refugees

Russia plans fast-track removal of Ukrainian refugees to Siberia

16.09.14 | Halya Coynash 
A new Russian decree instructs the authorities in occupied Crimea, as well as 10 Russian regions to send refugees from Ukraine to parts of the RF under a ‘voluntary settlement’ programme Siberia is meant and there’s nothing voluntary about it.
Deported peoples

Armed men rip Ukrainian flag off Mejlis building

16.09.14
During the night after ‘elections’ organized by the occupation regime in the Crimea and boycotted by most Crimean Tatars, three men carried out a highly specific attack on the Mejlis building in Simferopol.
On refugees

Official: Nearly 40 thousand refugees have returned to Donbas

16.09.14
The head of the State Emergency Service has reported that for the first time people are returning to eastern Ukraine, rather than leaving the area where fighting has been underway
Against torture and ill-treatment

Tortured by Kremlin-backed militants

15.09.14 | Halya Coynash
Assertions that the men whose bodies have been brought to a Zaporizhya morgue suffered horrific torture are corroborated not only by the harrowing photos, but by tales of soldiers or civilians held captive by militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic..
Elections

Crimean ‘elections’: boycott, spoilt ballot papers and pre-determined result

15.09.14
Any hopes that Russia’s occupation regime in the Crimea had of legitimizing its rule appear to have been in vain with most Crimean Tatars and many other Ukrainians boycotting the elections or writing ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ across the ballot paper
Children’s rights

Seizure of Donetsk University – an attempt to destroy the future of Donbas

15.09.14
On Sept 10 heavily armed Kremlin-backed militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic took control of Donetsk National University
The right to liberty and security

Five journalists not on the list of Kremlin-backed militants’ hostages

13.09.14
The 409 names on the list do not include Espreo journalist Yehor Vorobyov, Dmitry Potekhin, Yury Lelyavsky or two Kharkiv journalists not seen since the end of August
News from the CIS countries

Crimean Field Mission activists detained on Russian border

12.09.14
Russian border guards in the early hours of Sept 12 took Ukrainian national Olha Skrypnyk and her husband Vissarion Aseyev, a Russian national, off the train from Moscow to Odessa
Freedom of conscience and religion

New Muftiat and Mosque Seizures as Divide and Rule in the Crimea?

12.09.14 | Halya Coynash 
The first pronouncements by the head of a new mufftiat formed in the Crimea and a scandalous mosque seizure have aroused suspicion that the moves are aimed at creating a schism among Crimean Muslims and weakening the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People which has consistently opposed Russia’s occupation of the Crimea.
The right to a fair trial

Russia claims release of Savchenko and Sentsov not part of Minsk deal

12.09.14 | Halya Coynash
Russia does not consider a Ukrainian officer taken prisoner by Kremlin-backed militants and abducted to Russia to be part of the exchange of prisoners agreed at the Minsk negotiations. A spokesperson claimed that the charges against Nadiya Savchenko and four opponents of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea were "serious"
Freedom of expression

News of Donbas refuses to publish any election advertising

12.09.14
“If we don’t give millionaire politicians the chance to advertise their candidacy, then maybe, just maybe, this will create a more competitive electoral environment and the money that they’ve ready to spend on words will be spent on arms for the army?
Elections

Crimeans threatened with prosecution for voting in Ukrainian elections

12.09.14
Sergei Aksenov, head of the puppet government ‘elected’ hours after Russian forces invaded the Crimea, has threatened to impose criminal liability on Ukrainians who go from the Crimea to the Kherson oblast to vote in Ukraine’s October parliamentary elections
Politics and human rights

“Azov” – What’s the problem?

11.09.14 | Halya Coynash
It had seemed hard to imagine a better gift for Russian propaganda than a Ukrainian volunteer battalion formed by men with pronounced neo-Nazi views. Even more fodder for Russia’s propaganda machine could soon be provided if one of the Azov battalion’s leaders is not kept well away from the coming parliamentary elections.
Politics and human rights

Dugin’s Eurasian Union disciple creates Potemkin “Tatar” militant division

11.09.14 | Halya Coynash
Russian attempts to present Tanai Cholkhanov as a Crimean Tatar fighting “fascism” at the side of Kremlin-backed militants face two insurmountable hurdles: the fascist ideology of his mentor, Alexander Dugin, and the fact that he’s not a Crimean Tatar

  

Articles

Tortured by Kremlin-backed militants

Halya Coynash
Assertions that the men whose bodies have been brought to a Zaporizhya morgue suffered horrific torture are corroborated not only by the harrowing photos, but by tales of soldiers or civilians held captive by militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic..

If Russia is not at war, then who is in those freshly-dug graves?

Halya Coynash
Russians are also now asking hard-hitting questions as macabre efforts continue in Pskov and other parts of Russia to conceal the death or injury of a large number of soldiers sent to fight Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine

Invasion by any other name

Halya Coynash
The suspicion that Russia’s ‘humanitarian convoy’ was being used to divert attention from other activities was probably confirmed on Aug 23. Western leaders concentrated only on that undoubted violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty while ignoring NATO reports of direct Russian military incursions

Serious failings seen in new ‘lustration’ bill

Volodymyr Yavorsky, lawyer and human rights specialist, has subjected the latest draft law on lustration to close analysis and his verdict is not good. Instead of defending democracy, lustration as per this bill would be more likely to turn into a mechanism of selective political persecution of officials and would destroy independent institutions.

Odessa "Massacre" Propaganda vs. the Facts

Halya Coynash
The tragic events in Odessa on May 2, 2014, are rapidly being transformed into a propaganda campaign for Moscow. The facts are now available and need to be widely known. By allowing outrageous claims of a fascist ‘massacre’ to go unrefuted, we risk proving yet again how very little human beings learn from history.

Whose war?

Halya Coynash
The shooting down of MH17 has led to harsh words used about Moscow’s very major role in providing the arms and military technology, men and training for artificially manufactured unrest (and bitterly real bloodshed), but left terminology, like ‘civil war’ and ‘separatist’ largely intact

Russia resurrects Soviet ways in treatment of the Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash
Enforced exile is always a personal tragedy. In this case, however, a ban has been imposed on Refat Chubarov, head of the Crimean Tatars’ representative body and this is an affront to all Crimean Tatars. It is also a test and challenge to western countries who claim commitment to rule of law and human rights while wanting business as usual with Russia